I’ve always said that when creating art the subject matter itself isn’t important to me but it needs to be my own source photograph. It also needs to be a bloody brilliant picture so that I am able to stand working with it for an extended period of time. Whilst cutting my collages and artworks I consider old situations and create positive new memories. I’m extending the photographic moment, my photographic moment, into something which spans weeks, months, or even years. I’ve used my own photographs for a very long time in order to consider this concept but now I’m running out of suitable photographs to use.
I have been thinking about building a new bank of images and my Walk/Listen/Respond project was created partly to satisfy this need. I’ve been hesitant in using these new images though because I’m not sure this would achieve anything fresh in considering memory and my own sense of identity. Instead of looking at my place in the world I would simply be creating a new place every time and considering it almost instantly. This does not suit the way I work or the direction I feel I should be going.
Another possible solution is to work with other people’s photographs like regular collage artists tend to do. I’ve done this in the past with commissions or with one-offs but I’ve never felt that there is a full creative synchronicity between myself and the other photographer. That disconnection has always put me off working long term with other people’s photographs and has meant that I have always fallen back to my own images for inspiration. Until now that is…
I’ve discovered an amazing, and very comprehensive, bank of photographs created by a close friend and we’re currently in the opening phases of developing my Structured Chaos series into a fully collaborative project. The photographs he has created tick every box in my brain, both compositionally and otherwise. We’ve already got a close working relationship through other projects and I know that the mental synchronicity is already there. We’d both be fools not to exploit this creative partnership to make new art. I’m already preparing maquettes and sketches for the Workers in Progress exhibition so this gives us a chance to visually explore our full collaborative potential.
This little sample doesn’t yet have a title. I’m not sure who decides that side of things yet. The title will arrive from one of us in due time and that will be that*. There’s nothing official and there doesn’t need to be. There are no stresses or worries with this paradigm shift. It is necessary for me to start working this way and I know the final results will be perfect.
*UPDATE: The title will be “Eiscape”