Happy Accidents

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Sometimes we spend so much time thinking and planning as artists and conceptual thinkers, that we forget how useful happy accidents can be. Case in point; these photographs. What started as a simple and very basic projection experiment in my bath room, soon turned into something much more interesting. I had not considered ever using it as an art material, yet my shower curtain came in surprisingly handy. It picked up and diverted the light of the projector to create this rippling and water-like effect across the surface of my images.  

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Although it’s presence is very subtle in some cases, I just feel it adds a certain depth to the image. It creates a collection of layers that bring painterly elements to a photographic setting. Looking at these, I felt again like I was painting; constructing the direction in which the layers would formulate; manipulating the imagery to satisfy my intentions. I could not have been more delighted in this accident occurring. I have a theory that half the genius scientists made their discoveries accidentally and then decided to tell everyone that was what their intention all along! I’d probably do that if I was in their boat and ever discovered anything significant. Although, it’s more likely I would pass it off as intentional because I’d be too embarrassed to admit I’d made a mistake!

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In some cases I was so fixated  and fascinated by  the reflection of the shower curtain, that it took more priority then my actual projected images! Consequently ,abstract images such as the above came into creation. Now there is one happy accident! I think the reason I found it all so mesmerising is because there was so much movement within these ‘reflections’, yet they were entirely static. They are highly evocative of water, yet there is not water present. There is only the suggestion of water and the associations of its sound and movements, all of which enhanced my experience of these images. 

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I wasn’t too bothered about getting the camera in focus either, in fact the lack of focus really worked in this instance. Especially in relation to the colours; the soft pastel hues are not a result of editing, merely a result of the lighting in the space. For me there’s something calming about the way the reflection of the curtain falls across the image. I don’t know if that’s because the images themselves are quite peaceful with their blurry lines and lack of forceful energy. Or if it’s simply because the rippling reflection is so reminiscent of water and all of the connotations that carries. The soothing sound of a river gushing, water’s necessity in the continuity of life, the comfort of a cold, refreshing shower. Or maybe I’m just getting carried away with all my contemplation of water. Then again, it’s such a big part of this whole zen thing that everyone’s got going on that why not join the crowd and start listening to waves and water as I fall asleep!

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Projection Experimentation

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I had a play with the projector today. Not really sure I feel about these works yet, they’re still far too fresh for me to form an opinion of them. There are elements I’m really happy with though, primarily the physicality created by the projection. It really has been a struggle for me working so digitally and having everything on a screen, but even though these are images projected from a laptop, they reclaim the physical. They also take away the perfection of an on-screen image as the distortion was a key concept to them and something I generally find very appealing.

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I also really like the way in which the projector has saturated the colour, it’s created a kind of pastel rainbow which I think brings a real sensitivity to the images. Completely unintentional but I am in no way complaining! It is often the accidents that create the best works!

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I think they’re quite playful works. But then that may be because I know the root of their content. These images are stills taken from a film of a performance I did. Wow that’s quite a sentence there isn’t it? How many mediums have I crossed to create these?! I guess in a way these works are the combination of all my other works layered together. It’s a build up to an endpoint almost like the layering of paint on  a canvas. The painterly mindset really hasn’t left me despite technology being the current basis of my work. I’ve decided film is really not for me though. I’ve tried and I’ve pushed it. But as my films are merely experiments, almost like a digital sketchbook, they don’t work beyond the moment in which I created them. When I watch them I instead think in stills, which is why I am able to draw out the moments that convey what I am trying to depict so easily. 

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For me it’s still very important to maintain a sense of ambiguity in my work which is why I’m not really explaining anything here. I don’t want to and I don’t need to. I don’t want everything about my art laid out on a plate. An image should be able to stand for itself. And I think these experiments are a perfect demonstration of that. Only I know what exactly went on and how I got to this point, but the viewer is free to interpret it as they will.