Match, 2015

The second Castlegate ART commission in 2015 was inspired by the invention of the friction match by Stockton-born John Walker and its coincidence with the production of the first ever photograph.

Sarah Pickering skillfully reproduced the chemical formula of the match head using the original recipe recorded in manuscripts at the Preston Park Museum.

By recreating and lighting a John Walker ‘Congreve’ match, Pickering was able to capture the same quality of light that would have been seen almost 200 years ago and the image of a lit match fixes a fleeting moment and monumentalises a tiny object.