UCA Canterbury Fine Art BA 2010 – 2013.


(photo/related installation, desktop/monitor video, photo brochure)



A.M. Hanson

UCA degree show 2013


“..I looked into office spaces, again and again I saw plants, their shadows, projected through the windows that fed and shelter shielded them.

…eventually, they began to return a gaze, in the daytime and at night, caught in myriad motion of montaged, dirt splattered, stained glass corporate frontages.

In seasonal gloom and in many false springs – evergreens radiated, in eternal city light, like repeat emerging, miniature winter gardens. A photo verve.”

photo installation

photo brochure

desktop/laptop video

I came away to be away, to get connected again to myself and others, to form new ideas, to make new work.

This happened. This is now. A (photo) bubble has been burst. A new photo form has began.

On return visits from the university studios back home to the Euston Road, with new thought processes, awarenesses and in new light, my eyes were opened up by things that had always been around me.

First, forms emerged. Through opaqued glass office frontages, back lit at night, (material that has been shown here previously, ongoing, evolving too) – objects appeared, distilled and diluted still life whispers of themselves.

A computer monitor became an alien-esque vibration of itself, an evian water bottle, glowed it’s muted colour contour branding. A stack of CDs, a ridged landscape in the mist of passing witness.

And plants. Lit day and night in the gloom of a long winter. Office plants, palms mainly, again and again I kept seeing them.

Illuminated and blocked out in artificial atmospheres that proposed a hyper real globalistic repeated condition of contact.

I photographed and filmed them easily and enjoyably, near to me. But understood their presence and pretend naturalism, their silhouette, was everywhere.

In awareness of past and present experience and research, knowledge of their media, art, ad, commercial, escapist, eco, humanistic globalistic streamed message flow.

They are everywhere in the corporate collage of the city, in it’s off shoots. Like miniature winter gardens blocked out around every metro-corner.

Ready made specimens in ready made installations.

Living archival connections to their ‘natural’ lineage, linked. Totems of tokenistic hope. Shadows of the jungle. Exotica piercing venetian blinds, pressed against the barrier window projections of the street’s myriad motion.

From the outside looking in, I saw them patterned in reflected fanfare. Light layered across light towards light.

A Photo Verve.

I place these photo/video/display documental fragments in a post contemporary framework.

That is to say, in selection, editing, and variants of re-presentation and communication – the plants, as evergreen motif in many a false spring, set in their other worldly (yet, lit now-ness) hot houses, are gestured towards (returned to) the people and places in which they were first registered and re-formed as objects of desire and actuality.

Literally as photo plants, curling and unfurling as temperature changes, this hanging garden of multi-corp-international stained glass, projects itself back and forth.

In the atrium space, they hang elongated, reaching out from their Plato’s cave of shadowy want, in turn shadowed by the travelling framework of the giant light box against which they transmit a temporal performative turn.

A turn to light. A shadow is cast, as the sun mutes or blasts open a colour formation.

Globe lights actual and photo echoed, act as new planets and eclipse moons, to their growth, the sap rising and fading and flickering back on again.

In publishing their conditions and contexts, a photo series is presented as a brochure-like registry. The plants as advertisements for themselves. Within and beyond their constantly counterpointed placement.

On film, we see a plant looking for another. This is a love story, set in an anti-void of the sharpness of the city’s flux. A plant both at home and lost and found in these workplace spaces.

To highlight their ‘forgotten-ness’, to re claim a new non-territorial posture, an everyday beauty in form and formations of features.

A video on a monitor, on a desk on an aerial walkway, next to a drinks machine / rubber plant. Sit and absorb, or pass by repeatedly and glimpse particles of moment.

The photos, plants (in places) clipped up to dry, to be re born.

A looser leaf in a more purposeful place.

For me, a return to light, colour and contact.

A.M. Hanson

direct contact: [email protected]

past/present/future info:



watch > http://bit.ly/YM7KZ3


A.M. Hanson / UCA Canterbury / Fine Art BA 2010-2013.

Artist. Photo-related practitioner. Student.

The degree study period and course work is now completed. We finished on Wednesday in a flurry of excited, determined activity, fine tuning displays and arranging supporting material and matter in cleared studio spaces.

After we had a fine knees-up. And, the sun was shining. Finale Bonus!.

A short break now whilst examinations of the work takes place, then preparing for showing.

The PV is at UCA Canterbury Campus, Friday 31st May 5 – 8pm, with viewings the next day and following week. All Welcome.

We Are Here: http://www.ucreative.ac.uk/canterbury/map


Then returning to my base in London, preparing evolutions of the work, new photo and related formations, for a new period of plans. Information following forthcoming situations, please see via;


During the next months I’ll also be looking at the practical possibilities of continuing research and study at MA level, and the specifics of where and when and how. Something I’m especially keen and driven to progress with.


Nearer UCA show time, I’ll post here installation views and a show statement.

First, in sequence and tandem with previous posts, some details I’d like to share about the project that has led to the show installation, and helped forge new methods, materials and formats to communicate my ideas and form and present work.

(previously here);

– a brief survey of key research works.

An Emerge (Office) photo series.

The Globes photo project & installation.

o/f/f/i/c/e. p/l/a/n/t/s.

(photo / video project, photo brochure)

I looked into office spaces more and more. Again and again, I saw plants, their patterns and shadows, projected through the barrier windows that partly fed and shelter shielded them. Glass frontages of corporation lobbies, foyers and open plan work spaces, revealed ‘the within’, projecting a montage motion of myriad changing city flux. The plants appeared repeatedly, often a variety of palm. I recognised these living archivals. Ready made objects in ready made installations. In awareness of past and present experience and research, knowledge of their media, art, ad, commercial, escapist, eco, humanistic message flow.

In 2012 and 2013 in London, in developments from the post war, and recently and in current conditions, these interior dwelling floras are a staple, potent motif of corporate / leisure / home-based spaces the world over. Radiant also in conceptual unfurl.

To see their repeated-ness, was like seeing embellished miniature winter gardens through each turning corner in the metropolis. Eventually they seemingly began to return a gaze. Performative palms.

Lit and unlit by daylight, cross lit by artificial night and interior back lights, reflected on by passing points of moving, morphing forms of light – evergreens in eternal city light.

An Office Plant in Winter

(monitor video)

Displayed on (a) desktop monitor(s) and returned to the effect of a workplace situation (a post contemporary framework).

In movement of reflected light, seen from the point of view of the passer by or specimen explorer. Sound comes into active image play. Wind disturbance, traffic ticks, notes are used as energerizers and pacing tools in the narrative of the composite. The camera’s auto-focusing system is played on, as it adjusts to light, form, movement and layering (things within things beyond things).

Making the video segments and photos felt like a trigger against many false springs. Here the escapist nature of the image of the plants, their faux-realness, totems to everyday exotica; a reaction against seasonal and situational (socio-political-economic) dark.

This is also a love story. A plant looking for another plant. An organic pulse arriving and exploring town, trying to find a new habitat, new contact, new range. The film is a fragmented commercial for it’s own wanton liberty and lightness (fixed lite-ness). A constant, alone yet connected spirit in the sharp and stream of the city’s cut off / on and outside / inside culture. It’s verve.

A.M. Hanson. An Office Plant in Winter. (5min 50sec, Summer 2013 variant)


A.M.Hanson / UCA Canterbury / Fine Art BA 2010-2013.

Artist. Photo-related practitioner. Student.

The Globes photo and installation works, (2012, ongoing), part of An Emerge (Office) project.

Lights. Physical objects. Spherical, suspended, illuminated globes.

In the previous post, I described the photo series based around the office objects that emerged backlit through opaqued glass, street level windows and frontages of office and corporate spaces at night. This distilled, artificial light, was observed in relation to the objects appearance, the picture making process and how the prints were to be displayed. As more images were gathered and edited as part of the series adaptation, a more defined understanding of this particular light source’s concept and essence came into register. It is the crucial, fundamental element surrounding how the objects are perceived and communicated as entities in a body of images.

As the project developed and the more I literally looked into, and thought about, these corporate settings and set ups – the more I began to see and respond to other connected situations in these domains.

Looking for one thing provoked seeing the same, or the similar and it’s relatedness in form, character or circumstance. Was this enough?.

Photographic series, by historical and accepted pattern, are usually about same-ness. Whether in art or documentary genres, the point of perceived contact, is the visualization of the narrative. In example; here we see a flower, now a set of flowers, different flowers photographed in a similar way. Why is it that if those same flowers being similar and are then photographed in radically different ways, are somehow not of the same perceived series?. It is as if we only accept the series for it’s aesthetical sameness. The work is accepted because it ticks the box of sameness, it’s serial nature. We see that an artist has repeated the conditions, applied them, so we think, yes, this is stylistically and thematic good, or not, but – it is a photo series.

My research and interests, not least also being in studios of interdisciplinary work making, have helped form a new self structured attitude towards photo making and the photo form. Seeing paintings progress, ideas and forms take shape, being wiped away, layered, re worked. Visiting shows and sites, where forms and thoughts materialize through installed, architectural frameworks – continues to help inform and instill a wider consciousness.

Projecting my photo based projects into formations that purposefully push their own photo based potentials.

How to do this?. With a developing certainty in concepts and subject matter and an evolved aesthetic through practice, it was time to take a leap of considered faith in editing procedures and displaying formats.

For the photo form and this expanding project, I was keen to apply aspects of these experiences, and of being outside of my own photo making bubble. Seeing more, in and out of the white cube or site specific scenerio, in it’s archival documentation, and aside of all this, in being alive and open eyed in occurrence, in life.

Returning to the light. The source, and theme, that had been the initiating factor of the opaqued office objects – I kept seeing the actuality of globe lights again and again, repeatedly. I didn’t want to record them literally, I wanted to explore them as new rising and setting suns and eclipse moons. In the city, in London (and generically, globally), they are often eternally lit.

They also provide a fabricated luminescence to what was, and is, becoming another facet in this area of research and work – the return gaze, the shadow of – the office plant.

More about these palms and their reflections in the next post.

The Globes is not a series, they are prints of lighting features, seen in these corporate spaces, fragments of a project, components of past and prospective installation.

In the public spaces at UCA, I found new positioning for them, as objects in photos and as photo objects, held in new space and time.

The repros here, show the first image, still part of An Emerge (Office), photographed through the mists of opaqued glass. Others followed, made out of focus through clear glass, or un-lit, eclipsed from another point. The serial motif was the same, but the thematic hue had changed.

The image choice and installation provided the next point of transformation and interaction with the works.


UCA projects:


info, shows & published work:



A.M.Hanson / UCA Canterbury / Fine Art BA 2010-2013

Artist. Photo-related practitioner. Student.

An Emerge (Office) photo series (2011-12)

As dusk turns to night, in the city, objects emerge and morph in the street level windows of offices and foyers. Behind opaqued, dirt splattered glass frontages, backlit by night / security lights – forms take shape, matter becomes structured vision.

These office objects, unseen to the passer by in daytime and in daylight, now take on a new performative role. Their blurred display hints at the workings of the generic global, corporate office make up. A computer monitor appears as an alien-esque to it’s everyday condition. A stack of propped indexed files evoke the contours of a jagged landscape enveloped in mist.

Office plants appear within a chilled, grey atmosphere as if returned to the forest, surrounded by points of shaped light reflected from the street outside. In another image; a water bottle becomes a diffused whisper of it’s self. The branding in it’s colouration hints at it’s mass produced type, now in diluted tonal gesture.

With these photographs I want to highlight this ordinary experience as heightened visual and performative situation.

I do not want to go inside these offices. In practice and in presentation the window is both illuminating projector and barrier shield. Here the photo making function of registering a thematic witness is combined with responding to the distorted formation and colour field in this multi layered framework.

Looking into these corporate lightboxes, I kind of developed a sort of outsider office fetish. From the street. Through the window. Minus the people. But there again, it is all about the people, the objects they leave behind.

I see these things, in and out of focus, I see them clearly. I see them completely dancing, changing in and out of themselves. And currently I can’t stop making pictures of them.

(project printed matter notes, 2012)


The prints were displayed in a series of edited test set ups, to prepare dialogues between them and see how daylight and fixed light would affect their appearance. Some were printed on backlit film and hung directly over windows, returning them to a contextual and literal source.

A set shown here in one display view are also duratrans, the reflective nature of the wall (in a daylight infused atrium) acted as a muted lightbox. The smooth print surfaces in counterpoint to the grid brickwork.

One print from the series, Aegis, was shown in a group show, Paper Cuts & Plaster, based on the materiality of objects, in a project space in Dogliani, Italy (Summer 2012), before transferring to Galleria Uno+Uno, Milan (Rock Paper Scissors, October 2012, curated by Alana Lake). The oversized duratran printed image was placed over the inside of the windows. It’s tonality changed with altering daylight and artificial sources. A fixed and evolving photo work.


In my previous post I talked about how returning to an academic structure has changed my practice processes. There is a brief survey of various works made at UCA, exploring the photo form in relation to a range of themes and concepts.

Here is a sampling from one series that became a defined part of my main research. As the degree show approaches, and in the next few posts, I will show more examples of specific works that gradually formed into constructed series, themselves in a wider, ongoing image making and theoretical inquiry.

The corporate window started to become a fragmented collage of the outside and the inside. A layered looking glass of city life, it’s movement, it’s coloration.

An office (related) fetish, continues..


more works from An Emerge (Office) photo series can be seen at: http://bit.ly/ZrOUnT


for archive of UCA works & text see:



A.M.Hanson / UCA Canterbury / Fine Art BA 2010-2013

Artist. Photo-related practitioner. Student.


No apologies if the capitals look like shouting, they are not intended to be so abrupt. But – robust, clear and purposeful. I’m excited!.

With a month to go before the degree show deadline for marking, and then just a few short weeks before the private and public viewings, I feel ready to show and share my new work.

It has been a long journey, highs and lows, and I know I share this with many of my colleagues on the course. Each of us has come far.

For me this new period of research and study came at the right, perfect moment.

The structure of the studio based academic position, has helped me beyond anything I could have first imagined. Enabling a radically new productive, creative and thoughtful period of learning, work planning and making. It ain’t been easy!. And I’m glad for that. The struggle to bring on the new in myself, to aim for better communicative engagement with others and to, well, just make the work that feels real and improved and ready (and ready to evolve further) – it’s certainly been worth the sacrifices, even all those train and bus trips have (eventually!) become joyful.

There is much still to do to prepare for my installation, but I feel mostly on cue with where I want the current work to be. Sometimes i got it wrong, but now I feel often I made it right, by seeing the points of difference, moving on, evolving into a better frame of mind, to make the correct solo and collaborative choices, more coherent selections, processes and defined editing.

And, for these newly formed ideas and projects to be going forward in terms of concepts, in terms of thematic approaches, in ongoing development of an aesthetic, understandings of contexts, in opening up proper dialogues, in seeing better, thinking fresher and harder. All these things have happened and are happening.

There was a point where I didn’t think it would work out, not the work making as such (I’m primarily optimistic, I can’t stop the making), but the idea of going into an academic environment, being at art school, after a long period of solo practice (performance photography and post performance concept projects *), was an abstract alien feeling I wasn’t sure I was right for. Also economic reasons, even at one stage a tentative path of health, added to the uncertainty. Then circumstances improved, and the idea and will became stronger. Being away, from my home base, to be quiet and focused and open to change was the most important step I could make. I made a leap of faith in myself and others, realising that in order for new ideas and work to form, I really needed a new situation in which to push and surprise myself, to be able to communicate stronger ideas.

Much has been learnt being on this course, being in this situation, on many different levels. It’s now time to share this, and to look forward to newer challenges too, a more determined and purposeful, brighter future of work making production and transmission.

Over the next few days and weeks I will arrange a series of posts, in images and short texts, featuring the bodies of work that are forming into the final selection for the degree show. Also other projects, some ongoing, some strands of archival interests, but mainly here keeping an emphasis on the development towards the facets of UCA based material, as the show in late May approaches.

The images here are a brief survey from a range of projects made during my research and study period.

The works include evolving experiments and set structures, with the photo form, both in production and installation contexts.

A photo frame of mind. Part freedom from the rectangle and being involved in other notions of photo related contact.


(*) for a sampler of earlier practice, referred to, including published and exhibited archive and more recent work, solo and collective projects, please visit; www.alexcalledsimonprojects.com