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A trick of the light
a trick of the mind?

Memory is explored through the prism of psychological theory and neuroscience. Often using detailed reconstruction and multi-media, Slater considers how photographic imagery can at once tell multi-layered stories and lure the viewer into considering alternate narratives.


Flash-bulb Memory

"I remember exactly..."

Flash-bulb memories are those where we remember, or think we remember, exactly where we were when we heard about a major event - generally through the media. In this series, Slater recalls the circumstances in which she first heard about major breaking news, including the Assassination of JFK, the Moon Landing, the fall of the Berlin Wall, The death of Elvis and 9-11.

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Still, Life

In collaboration with users of the Day Therapy Unit at Wheatfields Hospice.

This sensitive and highly personal series contains pairings of individual portraits with still-life representations of the artist's interior processing of, and reflections upon, conversations held with each portrait subject over a period of weeks. As the individuals came to terms with their life-limiting conditions there was much to reflect upon, including moments of joy and laughter. Text adds an element of insight to the conversations and to Slater's peronal experiences (which included several personal family bereavements during the 3-year course of the project).

All of the individuals pictured provided their written consent for their images to be shared. Nothing has been revealed that individuals did not wish to share. In some cases the collaboration has also extended to family members of those who have since died. Deep gratitude and respect is extended to all of those who  participated.


Reflecting on Memory Loss

"Aunty Betty - The prettiest sister"

The social utility of photographs as an aid to memory is well understood. This series seeks to explore the representation of memory loss through an extended study of one much-loved individual with Alzheimers. Based on a close familial relationship of over 60 years, Betty granted permission for this project to continue up to the point where Slater felt it ought to stop, which has now sadly happened.  Betty was delighted when one of the early images was shown as part of Leeds Digital Fashion Week in 2018. Typically, she said "I suppose Vogue will now be knocking at my door - how much will they pay me?"

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Conflicting Memories

When a much anticipated event or holiday does not quite live up to scratch, to what extent do we distort the truth through words in postcards home, in social media posts, in visitors books? Over time this can create a dual memory in which our visual memory is at odds with what we have embedded through verbal repetition. In this project, Slater juxtaposes imagined comments from Visitors Books with images of less-than-perfect holiday experiences.

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