12 Dec 2017


Look Up, Look Down, Look Sideways

One of the several hats I wear when I work is that of an arts workshop facilitator. Recently I had the very great pleasure of meeting lots of talented young people at the Museum of London's family festival. Taking inspiration from my interests in walking and digital arts, I encouraged them to look up, look down and look sideways as they travelled around the Museum, taking photographs and tracking themselves using GPS on an iPad. When they returned from their journey we looked at where the satellites thought they'd been and asked whether machines can really know where you are or remember where you've been. Does looking help you find yourself and the camera help you remember? What does your memory look like if you make one picture from it? Below is an overview of the stellar layered artworks I helped them create from their photographs.
Not that I play favourites...but these were some of my favourites.
Because glitter

Can't lie, it's because I was so flattered to be included in this one...(look past the neon skull).
Above and below were created by two sisters from the same walk. I love that they came up with  works that were similar but different from the images they shot together.

The starburst detail of the top image and the additional maps included in this make me very happy indeed.
The children printed off their images to take their art home. They also had the opportunity to further decorate the printouts; I liked the clash of the tactile, analogue world with that of the ephemeral, digital one - and the careful placement of these shiny stickers was so meticulously done!

Afterwards the Museum was kind enough to send me these images as well as the screenshots of the routes everyone walked (or that the bots thought they walked...) 

I am increasingly using walking not only as exercise, but as meditation and as a form of mindful activity aimed at rooting (ha!) myself more fully in my own life. Obviously this then expands into my artistic practice and photographic work because I can't help the one bleeding into the other. I'm making a series of 'walkwork' collages combined with digital drawing and photographs, which you can see some of on my Instagram. I'm not sure whether these 'routes' will be used for anything else in the future or if I will just carry on using them as a jumping-off point but here are several ways of looking at the 33 walks, using a variety of automated editing techniques. 

I run workshops for cultural organisations and in schools for the most part, but can happily design something for private groups too. Please do get in touch via my website if you are interested in finding out more.

5 Dec 2017


Collapsing time and other photographic tricks

Several months ago I posted about some 'tintypes' I'd been making. This project continues to chug away quietly in the background - I'm finding that only specific sorts of faces work for these portraits, so I am only shooting them when I come across someone who gives me that 'Aha!' sensation. Writer Catherine O'Shea's china-doll colouring somehow works perfectly even in black and white, while artist Ella Hempsted's Pre-Raphaelite hair gives the ideal frame for her face - I'll share these another time when the project feels like it's coming to some kind of fruition. 

Part of the reason I like making these fauxtypes is because of the way they collapse time - smashing past and present together and carrying it forward into the future. My latest subject is interested in the same thing, adding another layer to the images again. 

I'd been following Jordan J. Lloyd's Dynamichrome project online for ages; vintage images are digitally recoloured in astonishing detail, bringing the past vibrantly to life. As a fan, I attended the exhibition that launched the book The Paper Time Machine, created with Wolfgang Wild of Retronaut. Imagine my surprise when, describing the event to my studiomate, she revealed that he was a childhood friend. I jumped at the chance to add Jordan's 'tintype' to the gallery and we met at the Barbican. This itself is a total layer cake of history and I couldn't resist bringing the 'real' camera along to try and capture some of those surfaces - medieval, Brutalist, contemporary - too. Check out the Dynamichrome project online or on Instagram and buy the book! (This video is so worth watching for the jawdropping skills displayed).

26 Oct 2017


feathers + bubbles

Froufy macro filter fun this morning...

6 Oct 2017


Some mustardy flowers

Just a quick post to share this cosy autumnal arrangement I captured last night at Second Home while photographing an event for TEDx Shoreditch, and to say hi! I'm alive! Been busy working on some more experimental bits and pieces for the last little while, and if you're interested in that could I suggest you follow me on Instagram, where I post snippets and Stories of what I'm up to far more regularly than I do here...

14 Jul 2017


Park Road Pool 1960s

In my last post, I shared a different portrait of artist Dan Ferguson. I am lucky enough to know Dan through my friend Lisa, who shared his work with me via the magic of Instagram. Lately I'd been thinking about starting to collect art in a slightly more concentrated way than previously and thought that commissioning a small painting from an artist whose palette and subject I loved, and who I had a personal connection to, would be a good place to start. 

Am I glad I did? You bet. Dan and I emailed a little about inspiration and subject first off. I had been arranging some of my own photos and bits and pieces of others' work on my shelves at home and realised that I already had an unconscious focus on swimmers, swimming pools, water, divers and so on. This made sense to me: I've always felt that water was my element, as I wrote about after my time in Morocco. 

When I mentioned this to Dan he got pretty excited as he's already been working on a series of swimming pool pieces. He grew up swimming in a pool in Crouch End which his children then learned in before the family relocated to Northern Ireland and he shared with me some stills from a vintage informational film about that very spot. I highlighted a couple that spoke to me, and off he went!

A few weeks later, and we met in a Stoke Newington park so I could say hi to his son and youngest daughter, who I'd never met, snap some photos of his oldest, who I hadn't seen since she was a baby, shoot Dan himself, and of course receive my beautiful painting. 

The soft blue and purples tones he has used suit the misty, memorialised act of leaping into an unknown void that is the future and the air all at once. The physicality of the flecks of paint is exciting to someone whose work exists (even in print) in a flat, 2-D state. It seemed fitting that we met on such a hot day, in such a childlike place, when I am so in-between myself. 

The finished piece can be seen in his gallery.

Please do drop him a line if you're thinking of buying or commissioning a piece of art. He paints gorgeous family portraits too. 

Dan can be found on the internet at the following places: website / Instagram or by emailing dan_fergie@outlook.com.