Sunday, July 24, 2011

Testing Boundaries

Between waking and dreaming
(click on image to view larger)

I've been thinking recently about work that lies in the space between sharply defined artistic disciplines, particularly when photography is one of those disciplines. These recently thoughts started after I received the new book Orchard Volume 2, a collaborative effort of Ray Meeks and Wes Mills entitled "Not Seen | Not Said". The book consists of photographs taken by Meeks with the addition of tipped in drawings by Mills - this sets up an interesting dialogue between the two bodies of work, with the drawings sometimes partially obscuring the photograph underneath it, and at other times keeping a respectful distance. There is an exciting energy in this book, a catalyst of ideas for exploring the interface between drawing and photography.

When I was at Lúz Gallery last night, I saw some gorgeous prints of the work of Thomas Bartlett. Bartlett explores the world through abstractions of colour and form. Printed large and hung simply with magnets on the gallery walls, it was possible to envision the works as pastel drawings with beautiful tones and a strong sense of flow.

I like this idea of blurring the lines between photograph and drawing, and I did do a few experiments last year along these lines. Today, when I walked in the forest, I played with long exposures and then tried various of processing the images as an exercise in looking at the range of possibilities for further exploration. Here's just one example from the day's work, which I find attractive because it seems to connect to master drawings of artists like van Gogh and the pictorialist photography of Alvin Langdon Coburn.

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