Antony Gormley: How Art Began

In this BBC documentary, Gormley is shown examples of early art in different countries of the world, dating from around 14,000 to 40,000 years old.  There are many theories as to why the work was created, often deep inside dark cave labyrinths. The images may depict animals such as deer or pigs, but representations of human figures are also visible in some locations. More frequently seen are the hand-shaped stencils believed to have been sprayed by mouth, using natural pigment and saliva.  Rather than being hand prints, these stencilled shapes instead reveal the outline of hands that were once there; they are signs both of presence and absence. Although this documentary centres around rock paintings as being origins of art, it is relevant here as it is also about the human drive to make images and to leave a trace of ourselves. Continue reading

Reflective post – Constructed Realities

Reflections on the week:

It was timely for me to be considering constructed realities as I have in the past worked with constructed, miniature and digitally manipulated scenes and this week have been further exploring some ideas using similar approaches.  Unfortunately being unwell has slowed me during this week, but I have done some rough project ‘tests’, trying out an idea using video, and also playing with a constructed image idea that I had in mind.  Neither have pleased me with their results, and both need either development or moving away from completely.  Both have been ‘in my system’ for while, though, and had to come out anyway, so at least I have reached that point with them.  As is usual, the next thing is simmering. Continue reading

A reflection on current practice

The camera is/has been many things to me, but in recent years has become a kind of ‘aide to thought’. Of the images that result from use of my camera, I still find it very difficult to place them into any particular category of photography, and I can’t seem to consign myself to any one project at a time. I am always thinking about the practice element and in project terms I tend to follow up on the ideas that spring on me at the least expected moments as they form steps to understanding, in their own way.

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Reflections on the peculiarities of photography

Asked to reflect on the peculiarities of photography, there are many features which, combined, could be said to apply to photography today, examples of which are listed here. As to whether these peculiarities apply to photography alone may be arguable, as, taken separately, it could be said that they also belong to film, painting, or other means of creative expression. Continue reading

Beginning ‘Informing Contexts’

Though I did not know it at the time, my involvement with photography began as part of a process of survival and escapism; a way of gaining a sense of control of events in a difficult family environment.  My choice as a child was to look through an aperture and see a tinted and distorted version of reality, a reduced version of my environment, an experience which gave me a sense of fantasy and magic.

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