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Matthew Allred’s interest in photography began with a simple science project: building a pinhole camera out of an oatmeal container. “Since then I was hooked. Seeing an image form in the developer after just pulling it straight out of an oatmeal box is unreal. I haven’t ever gotten tired of it.”
He received a BFA from Boise State University in 2006 and a MFA from the University of Utah in 2008 both with emphasis in photography. Matthew currently teaches darkroom photography for the University of Utah.
His most recent body of work, entitled Heliography, is a unique photographic process designed to capture exposures ranging from a day to half a year. He uses hand made cameras of his own design and chemistry he specifically formulates for the task. Allred states, “Designing a camera that can stay put and not deteriorate through the adversity of weather is more complicated then you think. It may use a simple hole for a lens, but I can tell you from personal experience, it’s a gamble that anything turns out at all.” Allred’s work has been shown nationally in several solo exhibitions.
The work I call Heliography is an examination of the extended length of the photographic moment, as well as the aesthetic possibilities of primitive cameras and chemical processes. I originally set out to build a camera that could look beyond the instant and immediate present. I wanted it to accumulate time, slowly, like a meditation on its own purpose. It was designed