Object Studies 2002-
This group of images is in chronological order with the most recent works first. The last image, the oldest in the series, is from 2002. Wood, Wire, Cloth, & Nails was made quite spontaneously in the studio with some materials that happened to be at hand. Making this photograph was out of context with the landscapes imagery that I was working with at the time. Looking back, I've come to realise that this artwork was the seed from which my recent imagery has grown.
Around eight years later I began to take objects, found in the landscape, into the studio to observe and eventually photograph. Found natural materials, mostly parts of trees, became my primary source of inspiration. With this way of working I changed from going out into the world to photograph to going inside to create my photographs in the studio. In effect the change was from hunting to contemplating.'
Contemplation encouraged the consideration of a wider range of potential meanings that an object or objects may suggest. I was able to draw from a broader spectrum of my personal knowledge and interests. Early in this process I attempted to suggest mythical figures such as in the image: Bush Nymph 2012.
Certain found objects reminded me of pieces that might be found in the archaeological section of a museum: Fertility Figures 1,2,3,4 are examples.
I became fascinated with the particularly human attribute of anthropomorphism and how a projection from the psyche may cause us, at a subconscious and intuitive level, to see human or animal attributes in an object from nature. I became involved with this phenomenon in some works, for example: Stick Insect 2012, Kangaroo! 2012, and Head Thinking Great Thoughts (X-ray View) 2014.
With these images I added a text (a title) that I hoped would further encourage the viewer to participate in the illusion. Magazines and newspapers have for decades influenced readers to see a photographic image in a particular way to reinforce a desired point of view or meaning. My texts were designed to do something similar but with my images I was attempting to substantiate an illusion or a fiction.
In photographic terms, my images are, in part, about the portrayal of an object or objects in isolation and in arranged relationships. The objects that I find of interest are ones that speak to me and activate my imagination.
I live a rural lifestyle around a half hour drive from a major city — Adelaide. My subject matter is, in general, sourced from my personal and my regional environment. For example with the image A Carpet, Four Logs, and a Loaf of Bread the four logs were stacked near the firewood shed and every time I saw them I enjoyed their visual relationships, so I moved them into the studio stacked as they were near the woodshed. It took quite a while until the right idea came to mind. With the bread a human-like head and figure was suggested. With the carpet the logs seemed to be 'dressed up' for the photograph.