Batch No.7! I told you I was having fun. More Kick-About #34 -derived in-camera experiments, using only a sheet of painted glass and whatever light sources were in arm’s reach.
Another glimpse into the other-worldly realm of house number 351, where I spent one long sleepless summer night in the gameful pursuit of spectral anomalies, finding this one poised perfectly in the old dark stairwell…
A number of associations attaching themselves to this set of Marie Menken-inspired photographs; Metropolis-like cityscapes and other Art Deco-esque impressions and the synaesthetic animations of Disney’s Fantasia.
It’s been rather too long since artist-in-residence, Graeme Daly, and I sat down for a proper blether about his continuing adventures as a freelancer, film-maker and photographer. I keep up with Graeme’s various creative endeavours via his Gentle Giant blog and Twitter feed, but nothing tops an old-fashioned chinwag…
Graeme Daly and Phil Gomm in conversation / August 12th 2021
Ash, from Graeme’s computer-animated short film, The Green Glider, rigged and ready to animate.
From Pools, Graeme’s short experimental film deriving from photographs taken deep in the Irish countryside in the depths of winter.
Shots from The Lighthouse Keeper, Graeme’s in-production stop-motion silhouette-puppet animation.
Graeme is also computer-modelling virtual ‘try-before-you-buy hats’ for Instagram.
A third set of photographs produced in this same way, with contrasting results, inspired by Marie Menken’s 1966 film, Lights. It’s likely there’s a discrepancy between a person’s interest in looking at these images and my fascination with having created them. All I can say about that is… sorry, there’s many more to come, and one day, when budget is of no issue, there’s a much more ambitious body of work to be produced this way.
The Kick-About No.34, inspired by experimental film-maker, Marie Menken, was all about working directly and playfully, emulating the way Menken had turned her camera on the Christmas lights of New York to transform them into abstract patterns and ‘drawings’. For my part, I fashioned for myself a very simple piece of apparatus – a sheet of glass, painted black, scored with dots and dashes – and set about using it to produce some in-camera lightshows of my own. This second set of images represent a different approach to the previous bunch, with the sheet of painted glass being pivoted away-and-towards the camera, or shoved left-and-right in front of it. In one of the resulting images, the Chrysler Building looks set to materialise…
Two ‘selfies’ taken at a particular time in a particular place. The attic in question is the attic of my grandmother’s house and I lived up there for a few months while I redecorated her house. My grandmother had died fifteen or so months earlier, and I had the bitter-sweet job of making-over her various rooms and ringing in the changes. I was twenty-eight in the Summer of 2003 and very much in-between things, living through a period of disruption and change. Melancholy though it was, being back in the attic of my late grandmother’s home promised a certain peacefulness and simplicity. I had a novel I was writing, an acoustic guitar, and I was living without the internet or other trappings. Indeed, even the computer I was writing on was an ancient beige thing with a black screen and white text – that’s how long ago this all feels to me now!
Today, it is completely normal for people to take self-portraits and share them unselfconsciously; I guess these two photographs were taken by me to wittingly romance my situation a bit; the attic, the lostness, the changing of the guard, the nostalgia of that very particular place. Obviously I thought it important to keep the moment – important enough to go through the motions of setting up the portraits in the first place.
I was doing so much sanding at that time, I got dust inside my camera, a whole roll of film ‘spoiled’ by gauze and light-bleeds – which you can see in the top image. I quite liked all the damage in the end; another way in which this house-in-transition was captured on film.
For the bottom image, I rested the camera on the windowsill of the attic window that looks out over the town. You can’t know this from the photo of my face, but I’m looking out on rustling copper beech trees, and listening to the calling of wood pigeons, a sound I will forever associate with this space, this time, this view.
Phil Cooper, The Ruined Temple, acrylics on paper, 40 x 40 cm
“After the more reflective mood and quiet menace in the previous instalment, things couldn’t be more different in chapter 19, as Kyp and pals emerge into a scene of carnage and destruction. It’s been a strange exercise this week, smashing up the Temple of Miscellany I constructed earlier in the book. But there’s not much time to dwell on all the mayhem; our characters have important decision to make, and they need to move fast!” Phil Cooper, August 2021