The Tin Gypsy Project
The B&H Event Space (420 9th Ave., Manhattan)
The Tin Gypsy is a traveling photographic darkroom and laboratory built out of a 1961 vintage travel trailer. Photographer, Meghann Gilligan rehabilitated the trailer and retrofitted the Gypsy as a mobile darkroom, specially designed for the practice of antique printing techniques and wet plate collodion. This project takes its inspiration from the earliest practitioners of wet plate collodion in the 19th Century, photographers who built darkrooms onto horse-drawn buggies and traveled the country, making tintype photographs of the folks in the small towns and cities they traveled through along the way. Meghann is aiming to reinvent the traveling tintype photo laboratory for a new era.
In August, Meghann and her crew traveled with the Tin Gypsy on her ’maiden voyage’, starting in Portland, OR and meandering their way up to Bellingham, WA. They stopped along the way to make tintypes of the interesting people and places they found. They also held special Tin Gypsy Photo Booth events in several cities: Portland, Seattle, Astoria and Bellingham. The Photo Booth events consisted of several elements: tours of the Tin Gypsy, a short artist’s talk about the origins of and inspiration behind the Tin Gypsy project, a demonstration of the wet plate collodion process and, finally, a tintype photo booth where people can have their tintype portrait done by the Tin Gypsy crew.
Meghann’s presentation will include:
• What is the Tin Gypsy and what are the projects and plans
• What her inspiration was for the project and the historic origins of the traveling wet plate collodion darkroom
• The wet plate collodion process
Meghann will have a couple of short videos: One video of the before and after of the Tin Gypsy traveling darkroom and one of Meghann doing the wet plate collodion process, which she will go through in detail.
Meghann will have some images of the Tin Gypsy and some of her work using the antique photo processes that she will narrate while they are displayed on the screen. Meghann will also bring some of her plates and an antique 8×10 large format camera for display and there will be lots of time for questions!