The archive

What do you consider to be your archive?

“Negatives, high resolution scans, editioned prints stored in archival boxes (never larger than 20 x 24ins), and exhibition prints (50in x 40in). The exhibition prints are only made to order; in terms of storage they represent the biggest problem.”

Power says: "One thing I did do, I was working in black and white up to the end of 1996/97 and had a darkroom … I took the trouble to print everything I found interesting, spotted, signed and dated them and put them away in acid free boxes. So, in effect, I was making an archive of my work as I progressed. For example, the Shipping Forecast prints are now considered vintage prints. I've been careful to throw away prints that I considered less than good."

He does not consider ephemera to be part of the archive, though he is pleased he has kept such material. “I'm a bit of a hoarder. For example, I have original invitations for other people’s exhibitions going back to 1981 - I slip them inside the books.” Power also has a large library and describes himself as an “obsessive book collector…I like first editions.” Every one of his 2,500 or so books is carefully catalogued.

Power is currently paying over £400 per month to rent two small units at the Big Yellow Storage in Brighton (largely for exhibition prints and publications). " This is a real lead weight around my neck. Clearly, the way forward is for me to get a place of my own that is big enough for me to be able to get through the door (which I can hardly do in my current storage units) and is more of an investment for the future. At the moment, I'm simply throwing money away on commercial storage units which are, in any case, far from ideal."