作画 ‘Hua’ is a body of work inspired by Ancient and Traditional Chinese paintings. Many traditional Chinese landscapes do not record an actual place but are of the sublime. They have no true horizon line, and the paintings show a separation between heaven and earth.
Using photographic techniques such as multiple exposures, I am attempting to capture landscapes in a way that mimic the notions, styles and romanticism expressed in Chinese ink drawings and paintings.
This work is deeply inspired by my Grandfather, Arthur Cooper, and his work as a renowned translator of Chinese poetry in the 1970’s. Although still in the early stages of research, I have begun taking photographs in rural Scotland, using the reflections of lakes to manipulate the light exposed. It helps create negative and hazy aesthetics and creates an illusion of a more surreal and romantic landscape. By allowing layers of light to scar the negative I am attempting to replicate the ink wash techniques used in traditional Chinese painting.
Each image is meant to grasp the spirit, meditative aspects or the atmosphere of the place photographed, rather than a likeness.
This is a collaborative project with myself and artists Stella Whalley, and James Bell. The installation, filming and exhibiting of this work took place in Atina, Italy – August 2013.
The work was a response to the unfinished building, a folly built 40 years ago, and the school where we were staying. A child's chair is trapped with thread between the walls of the building, its suspended within the frame of the building. The video captures its movement in the wind and rain,the sounds of thunder and lightening, church bells and a crying child. Viewed from a far and close up with Atina and the school in the distance.
During my art residency in Terracina, Italy, I took a liking to a copy of the oil painting La Madonna di San Sisto by Italian Renaissance painter Raffaello Sanzio. With access to a collection of authentic and well preserved vintage clothing and fabrics, I re-created the old masterpiece using live subjects.
I felt the need to inject references that revealed the re-mastering of the renaissance masterpiece by a fine art photographer of the 21st century. This is evident in not just the medium used (photography) but by the mention today’s technology culture. I also exaggerated these points by quickly and crudely editing and manipulating the image.
This work was produced and exhibited in Terracina, Italy - July 2016.
This body of work is an extension to my previous project “Ubiquity”. I have focused solely on capturing woodland. The scratching, the wild marks of the branches' repetition make for images with a darker atmospheric quality.
My interest in space, physical space and mental space, began with the reading of city descriptions. I read short articles and booklets describing various places, cities, and spaces. I began to wonder if the place the words allowed me to visit in my head were the same places I would experience if I was to physically visit them. How could I visually convey this experience to others?
I used double exposures, repetition, and varying techniques to convey the impression of some spaces I visited and reproduction of its atmosphere. Would my images represent its location: they way it feels, the smells etc?
I began an exploratory and experimental journey with my camera, over 10 months which were based on my interests in the idea that the camera is seen as a tool of power. A tool that allows the person behind it to violate those who stand before it. With permission I visited a friend, who I previously hadn't seen in over a year, almost every day a week for 10 months. I went to her work, her home, came along on family visits and dates, whilst picking up my camera at random moments throughout the day documenting her. When I started to produce images I watched my relationship with the subject both in front of the camera and behind it had changed. It became one of a more intimate relationship and the initial violence of my presence armed with a camera had begun to subside. I found myself feeling more passionate about the natural progression of where the relationship between the subject and I developed on the camera. The images became softer, less focused and gentle. They became not only descriptive of our growing relationship, but also of our trust. The camera was no longer seen as a violent intrusion but as an extension to our friendship.