Some questions that were put to me re residency at the Shape Gallery.
I’ve been manipulating the inner workings of images for a while. Essentially, it’s a digital image that I have opened up in a hex editor, changed the code around and then resaved. For these portraits I thought it would interesting to add something personal from the sitters. So, after I’d photographed each person and loaded the image onto the laptop, I asked them to name a favourite song. I then cut and pasted the lyrics from their song straight into the code. Resaving the file then causes the image to “break.” the results are quite unpredictable, which is part of the appeal.
I’ve been photographing the billboard near my house for about four years. Every week a new advertising message arrives and by the end of the week the wind and rain have taken their toll. Sometimes it’s just a small tear, other times the whole thing drops off and leaves an interesting mish-mash of old messages.
It’s a bit like London – lots of layers on top of one another, the past is never far away and always mixing with the present.
There’s a project here, I just haven’t found a way into it as yet. In the meantime I’ll keep collecting images.
Something I’ve wanted to do for a while is to get more physical with my work – to get away from digital and to create something with my hands. So as part of my Breaking Pictures series I thought it would be fun to take some actual, real-world photographs and subject them to some physical abuse.
Domestic bleach dropped onto a photograph. There’s something a little disturbing applying bleach to a face -and this was the only portrait I tried this on.
The others I felt were a lot more successful. They are photographs taken on a former weapons testing site that’s now derelict and being reclaimed as a nature reserve. The aggressive act of the bleach fits well with the subject matter and make for a better series of images.
I’ve recently completed a residency at the Shape Gallery in Stratford and it was a great opportunity to try out some new ideas. I set up with a mini studio for taking portraits, a flat-bed scanner for scanning hands, a laptop for “breaking” digital images and a work area for me to drop and drag bleach across photographic prints.
Over the three days I was able to add new work to the gallery wall. That’s Robot Santa on the left.