Thursday, 12 February 2009


It struck me during Helen Sear's excellent talk this week (the work, by the way, is terrific) that most of the photographers we have had speak to us on the course so far are artists who make photographs rather than photographers who are artists.  Maybe that distinction just shows how rusty and archaic my thinking is nowadays but I kinda know what I mean.  And it further amused me that our Prof - Paul Hill - is very much in what I think of as the latter group as far as my thinking goes.  So I'm kinda surprised a little.

Helen's latest work uses the grid in a sophisticated manner to puncture the surfaces of the photographic images she has created, themselves fractured by the context from which they were taken.  This work and the body of work that preceded it (Inside The View - that can be seen on the Klompching Gallery site - where it is currently on show in New York) has quite a few resonances with the exhibition that my friend and colleague John Rimmer curated in 2008 called Digitalis. Its rather amusing that though the five of us in that exhibition showed video, photography, painting and manipulated digital prints we all call ourselves painters - whilst Helen is still calling her most recent works photographs where the digital manipulation goes farther than any of us!  Of course hybridity and bilinguality are sooo fashionable now that it's not surprising.  

Sadly the drift of the conversation after Helen's talk took us away from these issues and into other spheres that more suited most of the audience and the concerns of the course but I'd have loved to have had time to pick up some of the painterly aspects of her work with her!

1 comment:

Simon Marchini said...

Another interesting review of the work that Helen talked about. The one aspect I found interesting was the way that Photoshop appeared to influence her work. She did this in photoshop and that in photoshop and to me it became an indispensable part of her art. I am not sure this is what she wanted and she no doubt would argue that she produced pieces before photoshop and no doubt could do so without it. Nonetheless, I felt that her method of working was now so symbiotic with Photoshop that were she to loose her use it would greatly affect what she was trying to do.