Over the last couple of years I have increasingly focused on work that deals with my emotional responses to life events as opposed to seeking to reveal something about the subject in front of the camera.
Short Stories... is a case in point. The stimulus for the project was that I lost a number of friends during 2017/18, and - never having had to seriously consider mortality before - I found myself trying to make sense of life and death.
I grieved for my friends and reflected on my own life., but inevitably I found myself unable to fully come to terms with our mortality. The only useful conclusion I could arrive at was a philosophical one. I would find no convenient explanations for why we must die, but we are sustained by hope.
Months later I was reading a book of Greek myths to my children at bedtime and realised (to my amusement) that I had unknowingly retold myself the Pandora’s box story.
I had an idea for a series of ambiguous images that the viewer could project a story into. Ambiguity, and sometimes lack of subject, is a recurrent theme in my work. For such images I wish to avoid the ‘banality of representation’ (a allusion to Man Ray). Instead I want for the viewer to create their own image in the work. I have an idea of what the work is, but that may differ from other people’s, and that’s ok.
Recently I exhibited some ‘…Stories’, including the image below. I invited guests to tell me what they saw. Several told me they saw fire. Another said a cave. A fellow exhibitor, an art historian, was convinced that I had cleverly embedded a Goya picture into my composition!