I must have been drawn to the subtle, graphical quality of this mown path at Mount Ephraim, enjoying its scorch and desaturation, and that lovely curving line. Whatever the reason, I liked it enough to take a photograph of it back in the late summer of 2009 and squirrel it away until now.
A random bunch of umbellifers – dates and locations long-since forgotten – but likely dating from the early noughties, and all photographed on 35mm slide film originally.
Another off-cut from early 35mm experiments out in the sultry gloom of the environs of the old French house, from the summer of 2013. There’s little doubt you could produce commensurate effects by layering-up images in Photoshop – an old house composited together with a squiggle of digital light – but the analogue mechanics behind the production of this moment include a clunky old film camera, a camping light encased in an empty blue water bottle on the end of a piece of string, and a human being whirling it about while dashing from one side of the composition to the other – and much to the consternation of the local wildlife!
An early foray into all things glowy and mysterious from the summer of 2013, working with 35mm film and a rather antiquated camera. This photograph was taken out in the dark arena of rough grass and old trees beyond the shambolic terrace of the old French house, where ‘noises off’ included the indignant hooting of owls and other, less identifiable rustlings and the cracking of unseen twigs under the weight of unseen things…
Back in 1998, as part of my masters degree, I developed a project outcome in which I screenprinted an original short story onto three ubiquitous wooden doors. The short story was about a man who experiences a moment of high-anxiety at the prospect of all the closed doors in his own home, and how he could no longer know what lay behind them. It was a pretty strange tale, and the technical challenge of devising a means of screenprinting using wood stain was not without its mishaps along the way. The screens themselves were massive, the medium fiendishly sticky, and the opportunity for ballsing it up were multiple. That said, the final result was very pleasing, and it excited me to think how you could apply woodstain so precisely, and, for a time at least, I imagined living in some house of wooden rooms, in which very surface offered up some reading material. No idea what happened to these doors, as these are photographs of photographs, which are all that survives of this project.
A real oldie for this week’s flashback – and a strange one at that! I made this lamp on my Foundation course all the way back in 1993, and I can’t remember the brief exactly, but I recall it was about making something new in response to the work of an existing artist (so not much has changed!).
For my source of inspiration, I chose Hieronymus Bosch and his famous painting, The Garden Of Earthly Delights (which likely surprised exactly no one, given the painting’s lewd subject matter and filmic spectacle). I decided to model my lamp after the painting’s strange rock-formations – part-mineral, part-crustacean, part-cacti – and combined a host of different techniques: annealing metal, blacksmithery, fibre-glass and resin…
Okay, so it wasn’t a very attractive lamp, and I think it ended up in a skip, but I had a huge amount of fun producing it. I dug out the few surviving photographs of it and re-photographed them for the purpose of sharing them on here, so the quality isn’t great, but the thing stood at about sixty centimetres high and was a working lamp, with that rather grim-looking sphere lighting up to glow pinkly, like some b-movie brain or cosmic egg.
Another night in 2015, and another happening, and I think Rod Serling would have approved of this one!
A rather more sinister-seeming thing from ‘Night 8’ back in the late summer of 2015, when, as others slept above me, I summoned apparitions out of the dark… What fun!
An otherwise unseen image from the summer of 2015, which saw me working for ten nights in the dusty salon of the old French house, in the pursuit of producing a sequence of fantastical events – and this one has a distinct Coraline-meets-Dr Seuss-vibe.
There’s an agreeable whiff of King Kong‘s Skull Island about this photograph taken in a wintery Central Park in December 2014.