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The Redundant Suit
I recently took part in a collaborative work of artists each creating a postcard reflecting on their personal experiences of 2020. This body of work has been brought together in a book "The Postcard Project" (available at www.artisrespondingto.co.uk).
My contribution was called "The Redundant Suit". The pandemic of 2020 forced many of us into working from home, others to be furloughed and some unfortunately to lose their jobs altogether. This self-portrait is a personal reflection on my own vulnerability and looking back to the times when going to work meant putting on a suit and leaving the house. Whilst the suit always represented work for me, and something I was happy to change out of at the end of the day, I found strange fondness to those days and missing the opportunity to put my work suit on.
This series of images are a collection of ordinary items that I have presented in a way that's reminiscent of Victorian and Edwardian collector's specimens. I was intrigued how a collection of mundane objects, presented in this way can almost elevate them to something more significant, and invites the viewer to reassess their understanding of these items and to consider the links between objects in each set.
Elements - Woodland
For this inclusion in my ongoing Elements project I chose the theme "Woodland"
Elements - All Four Seasons
Elements is on ongoing project of mine where I take a series of images on a particular theme and present them in this collage style. This particular series was taken over 2017 / 18 and captures all four seasons.
For this project I was lucky enough to spend some time on a dairy farm in Shropshire. Coming from a rural county like Shropshire I am familiar with rural life but I'm very much a "townie". As such I went into this projects with eyes wide open, with no real expectations or pre-determined objective. I simply wanted to capture what I saw.
One thing I did notice was that being a dairy farmer today, not only requires early starts (its not a 9 to 5 job!), but how much science plays in managing the herd. Testing and analysis of samples seems to be a fundamental part of the job.
Many thanks to Roger and his family for accommodating me and giving me free range across the farm.
Hands, Head & Heart
"He who works with his hands is a labourer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist."
This quote, from Francis of Assisi, was the inspiration behind this photographic project, or more accurately, it provided me with the title for a project I'd been toying with for some years.
I wanted an insight into how artists create their work, which I hoped would help me better understand what actually constitutes art and, if I'm honest, try to validate my own artistic endeavours.
So, in 2018 I invited anyone who considers themselves to be an "artist" to get in touch with the view of being photographed by me for this project. Each sitting was at the artists "studio", in whatever form that took, and generally included a head shot, their hands (or at least them working on something), and a detailed shot of their workspace. At the same time they were asked 9 questions to provide some context to my images.
The result is a photobook called "Hands, Head & Heart - a Photographic Reportage". This series of images with the accompanying text provides a glimpse into the creative process and hopefully challenges the viewer to rethink their perception of what art is.
A photobook of the full series of images is available on Amazon USA: