Welcome back to Photography Explained with the second instalment in the series. In these posts, I hope to make some sense of some of the photography that I have taken and offer information on the decision making processes behind them.
In this particular edition, I will be discussing a collection of photographs named Accidental Art. These images are the remnants of an art class discarded into a sink. These often go unnoticed and regarded as waste but the mix of colour and pattern when you’re least expecting is what interested me. This led to an extensive process of seeking out these obscure pieces of beauty. Whenever I was lucky to find these discarded remnants I made sure to take a photograph and over time built up a portfolio of similar images but always different in terms of colours and patterns present.
Below is a selection of the photographs for this particular collection:
After researching into the world-famous Leonardo da Vinci further reinforced my thinking behind this particular exercise. A theory coined by da Vinci suggests that art can be found at any moment. The advice was directed towards those that were experiencing a creative block. This passage is taken from Leonardo da Vinci’s words: ‘If you look upon an old wall covered with dirt, or the odd appearance of some streaked stones, you may discover several things like landscapes, battles, clouds, uncommon attitudes, humorous faces, draperies, etc. Out of this confused mass of objects, the mind will be furnished with an abundance of designs and subjects perfectly new.’ The overarching reasoning is that an artist should try and find meaning in chaos.
This was exactly what I was attempting to do when carrying out a simple exercise but with a greater meaning behind it. The quote devised by Yotam Ottolenghi, ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ sums this experience up rather nicely and I implore you to do just this, find beauty where it is least expected, in my case a classroom sink.
Welcome to the first of a series of blog posts titled Photography Explained. In these blog posts, I will take the time to expand on collections of photographs taken by myself. These photographs may be present in my portfolio and these further explanations will allow for a greater understanding for the reasons behind each of those photos.
In this first edition of Photography Explained, I will be exploring images that were geared towards displaying in my final year art exhibition. This particular exhibition contained artwork that has been completed over my two years in sixth form and was held in an art gallery in Margate, Kent and was opened to the public for viewing. This was an enriching and worthwhile experience for me.
Throughout my exhibition ran this overarching idea that oneself must avoid being bogged down in everyday life and take time to notice the ‘finer details’ in their surroundings. When one decides to seek these details out, only then will hidden beauty reveal itself. I felt that a way to express this ideology to the audience of my artwork would be to portray my own experience of this exercise.
To achieve this I set aside some time and explored a local town near me and looked deeper than I normally would to discover the beauty that has eluded me. Below are the 6 images that I chose from a host of additional photographs taken across different trips.
The 6 chosen images above were photographs that I felt were examples of the ‘finer details’ that I had set out to find. The arrangement above is how this particular photography collection was displayed in my exhibition. The organisation decisions were in my view very important as it allowed the collection of photographs to rest easy on the eyes. I grouped the photographs depending on specific elements found in each of the photos. For example, the two images to the left both contain bold, straight lines, the middle two images have a focus on symmetry and the two images on the right accommodate sweeping curves. This allowed for a subtle structure to the arrangement which in turn elevated the piece.
I enjoyed the exercise of seeking out the ‘finer details’ in our surroundings and I feel that the 6 photographs above showcase my thinking nicely. I hope that the deeper dive on my thought processes behind some of my photography allowed for some further clarity. I think that the idea of taking time to slow down and reflect has been forced to the forefront in recent times in the most surreal of circumstances. However, I believe that we can use this time as an opportunity to do just this and that we, as a planet, will reach a new level of appreciation for our surroundings and the people in them.
I look forward to writing my next edition of Photography Explained.