Online sketchbook space -
Photographically speaking, EBay images are ‘pictures’;-deliberate and staged, (unlike the ‘snap shot’ which captures a moment). They have the amateur, home spun quirky quality about them that appeals to me.
All EBay photos share the same purpose, they are taken for the same reason, to sell something. How amazing that millions of people worldwide are shooting ‘things’ in the same way, going through the same processes and modes of approach.
I found this photo of a floral sofa on EBay, with only 14 seconds of listing left. I saved the photo to my hard drive before it disappeared, there was a sense that it would be lost to me forever even though it was neither precious nor important. I’ve reproduced this image as a cyanotype. So now the floral sofa photo exists outside of the realm of EBay.
The best EBay photos show a snippet of the seller’s life; that bit in the background just behind the sofa for sale that they couldn’t squeeze out of the frame; the bad carpet, dying plant, dirty window or someones reflection.
Despite this, used objects are photographed with care but they are most definitely portraits of ‘things’.
EBay still offers a sense of discovery, a search will often harbour an irreverent or awkward object filed in a mis-matched category. Chancing upon such items is treasure hunting for those attracted to tat. (Me).
Whilst browsing, this got me thinking; how does the inherent qualities of an EBay photo change outside of EBay?
These drawings were made in response to the site. I’m asking myself why I have begun to draw the body, particularly in an unfinished, disembodied and floating state.
They are so simple and naive they remind me of Francis Alys work. Although the lines do not render the body in any anatomical way, instead they suggest the form, something I like.
I haven’t begun printing yet, but on first inspection the black line is not visible to any degree until a closer look. So really they look like photos of clouds.
(site specific drawings on perspex, held up to the sky and photographed)
I’ve limited theses types of drawings to the sky and the ground, it seems that everything in between is not required…
These drawings are made in response to the place and time, for instance I drew the smiley face because there was a cloud in the same shape, but it’s a shame it can’t be seen in the photo.
I’m drawn to the ambiguity of the unfinished body shapes. Whatever is drawn and held against the sky has to compete with it’s vista, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.
Each photo is taken pointing North and straight up (zenith?). I felt it needed some sort of grounding. The drawings only exist momentarily, much like the snippet of sky, it gets wiped away.
The drawings are about possessing the sky in some way, making a mark.
In the meantime I’ve been working on some other ideas as well;
reconstructed clouds:clouds are photographed, measured by eye, positioned and re-made as faithfully as possible with stuffing and then photographed in situ.
bruise catalogue: still at initial stages, Google images of people’s bruises are re-drawn.
I drew on a sheet of perspex then photographed it over the grass. Discovery: perspex is the most reflective surface in the world, I had to resort to holding a sheet of cardboard up to create some shade. It took alot of snaps to get a half decent image.
This first photo is the drawing held up against the sky. Would be great on a blue sky and fluffy cloud day, not many of those around. The drawing would really capture a time and place – depends on where you are in relation as to how a cloud looks. It reminds me of lying in a field and watching the clouds go by; wanting to capture them somehow.
The grass drawing worked well, I had no choice but to include the weather (raindrops). By using the perspex, the drawing and photograph can be made simultaneously capturing site and moment at once.