By Rob Ball
In Dreamlands Rob Ball incorporates colour photographs of found objects and of the park as it fell into disrepair, as well as black and white archive photographs and tintypes. The tintypes use a process created in the 1860s, around the same time that the Dreamland site began being used as an entertainment venue. For Ball, tintypes emphasise the physicality of the landscape and its imperfections and he used the process to document the initial stages of reconstruction at the park. On each visit he had to construct a temporary darkroom in which to coat, sensitise, expose, develop and fix the tintypes. Dust, debris, fingerprints and even the quality of daylight are all recorded on its surface, so that each plate carries evidence of the environment it was made in and even of the photographer himself. The process itself also has strong historical links to the seaside where itinerant photographers would set-up temporary studios offering family portraits to weekend and holiday visitors.