Photographers Interview

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How would you describe your photography?
From
From “Rose Tinted”

I see things which other people perceive in the peripheral, things which have been discarded or overlooked.  I see beauty, in forgotten objects and enjoy photographing their decay and the environment where they are situated.  They are personal, expressive, they communicate, and they release a scream from inside.  One of the most important things with art photography is to highlight themes and ideals which people often struggle to talk about openly.

You’ve created various pieces of work, can you discuss the work and the motivation behind the images that you have made?

Over the past year, I have produced many photographs, the four core projects I’m most proud of are “Here I Am”, “Unicorn”, “…Broken” and “Semblance”.

here-i-am-part-2-of-10-by-tom-robson
Here I Am (II)

Here I Am, consists 10 individual portraits of the immediate environment of the person.  Here I Am, invites you into the comfort zone, a portrait of an activity.  It’s voyeuristic; you cease to wonder who the person is and instead ask, what are they doing?

Unicorn was a platform to demonstrate unity across boundaries, and to challenge boundaries during and after the project.  It worked, and caused disgrace and offence from both professional and social friends.  This became a platform to discuss controversial art and people still suggest I shouldn’t enjoy it.  Who are they to think that? (See Unicorn, behind the scenes)

Unicorn (V)
Unicorn (V)

…Broken became a metaphor for how I felt at a particular time, rather than demonstrate the difference in the way people see things which was its intention.  The project’s theme and title was in conflict until I felt something I wanted to photograph.  In these images I wanted to convey the sense of my own inner conflict, the sense that I am broken and this became the overarching theme for the final photographs.

Semblance began during …Broken, and is used to show clarity and openness, this is who we are, without our façade, this is the real us, our inner beauty and innocence which we have deep inside.  I had previously described Semblance as an anti-portrait, but it’s more than that.  It shows what we hide, and what we hide from, even when we’re hiding from ourselves.  Semblance, is us behind our mask. (See also: Semblance II & Semblance III & Semblance VI)

Which photographers and artists have influenced your work and why?

I enjoy photographs by Francesca Woodman because they, also are her inner screams.  She photographs herself, yet obscured.  Like she’s reminding you she is there, yet not present.  In Why hasn’t everything already disappeared, Jean Bulleriad explains that once we label, or photograph, or even recognise something, it beings to disappear.  Sophie Calle, on the other hand documents her life meticulously, storing items for many years.  InExquisite Pain, she returns to photographs and past treasures from 15 years earlier, at which time she couldn’t bear to look at again for fear of that pain returning, and so she couldn’t violate its presentation.

Space², Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-1978 1975-8 by Francesca Woodman 1958-1981
Space², Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-1978 by Francesca Woodman

My personal favourites remain to be Robert Mapplethorpe, Helen Chadwick, and Susan Sontag, all of whom demonstrate the link between personal freedom, photography as art and willingness to create from their unique view of how reality is superimposed into our subconscious.

Of my own work, Here I Am is a favourite because it’s what people talk about the most.  I enjoy listening to people talk about photographs because they each see different things.  Here I Am, invites questions and that’s one of the purposes of why I create photographs.

An equal favourite is “Metadata” which states that we are all stripped and reduced to an equation.  Something which needs to be processed, we disappear only to be replaced by a copy or perception.  At the time of writing,Metadata has gone unnoticed, unquestioned which is a statement in its self.

I do hope readers enjoy my photographs, thanks for reading.

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