Above Image: Explorers, 2013
Tell us about the work we featured within the ‘Temptation Issue’
The two works featured in Musée are from a larger body of work called Saw The Splendour, inspired by worlds in both biology and astronomy and the narratives that are created by discoveries in both sciences. Black and white 4x5 negatives (Ilford HP5) were manipulated with chemistry and a variety of tools (dental, jewelry making, make up pads, knives etc) in petri dishes and on glass plates. For Pour Etienne et Son Ciel & Explorers I employed a lot of collage techniques; cutting sections of negatives out to paste onto others, blending with glue, ink, acrylic paint and even butterfly taxidermy for The Hive. It’s almost like merging painting, printmaking and photography. The final stage is always to process in a traditional wet darkroom and tone the prints with sepia, gold and selenium.
At times for me it’s like looking simultaneously through a microscope and telescope. These uncanny images shape-shift before our eyes between expanses of deep space, microscopic views of molecules and sci-fi space travel. What’s great about art and science is that we are always exploring and discovering, then creating narratives around those discoveries. I try and do the same with my use of analogue photography. Although they are inspired by physics, biology and science fiction, the photographs in Saw the Splendour are comparatively low-fi - masquerading as documentation of the natural world, yet falling somewhere between reality and a lucid dream.
Where do you see your work going, what is next in the development of your project ?
I will definitely continue experimenting in a wet darkroom manipulating negatives and exploring new methods to tell stories. I am working on expanding the Saw the Splendour series. There are several cinematic projects I would like to develop as well. I would love to expand my storytelling tools through moving imagery with the aesthetic I have developed the last decade. I have a fashion shoot coming up late summer, which is quite exciting. That’s definitely a world I think would be fun to continue to explore and collaborate in.
What inspires you? Who, Where, Why?
Jellyfish and astronomy are almost always an inspiration in everything I do; the mood and atmosphere underwater is amazing and very otherworldly, much like outer space. The life cycle of stars, traveling to new places and artists really pushing the work that they do in their respective mediums.
Our theme was ‘Temptation,’ how do you relate to this within your work and how would you define temptation.
Our never-ending need to feed our curiosity, to explore and discover. The need to try and hunt the unknown and continue to delve deeper into those worlds, and feast on new ideas and findings.
Pour Etienne et Son Ciel, 2013