Monday, 24 October 2011

Artist of the Week Guest-blog: by John Marriage

Many photographers, when asked to express what makes them tick, emphasise their emotional relationship with what they see around them, and the world. People, light, landscape... For me that doesn't work. Perhaps the truth is that actually producing photographs can be a better way of communicating that talking or writing about it. Many "beautiful" photographs fail to communicate largely because they don't say anything new. At least not to me. As well as the next person I can appreciate the light on a misty morning, a pattern of shadows, a face, a flower, a body. In external reality these have their own scale, movement, and depth. A well seen photograph may selectively capture something from this reality, and does so by editing out a lot more. The photographer's role is to do that editing, to combine insight and craft skills to give the viewer an experience that is in some way new. Yet another "Misty Dawn" won't do that. 

So if i tell you about how I work as a photographer, I must first recognise that most of the time I shall fail. If what seems to me to capture some new insight, just occasionally does the same for you, then I can hardly hope for more. I don't feel equipped to describe my emotions about a picture in words, better than in the picture itself.

M practice is therefore experimental. By changing technique, trying something new, looking from a different place, I use photography as a framework to explore the visual world. I modify a camera, improvise a lens, and manipulate images chemically, optically or digitally. I am testing the world of imagery. This is all practical, but the only successful end result can be a communicating image; so there is a process of guidance and selection going on in my head, of which I have no understanding. There's an "artist's statement" for you!

John Marriage

1 comment:

  1. Thank you John for such a considered piece. When you say that you don't feel'equipped to describe your emotions in words'that is a recurring theme through many artists work. I an relate to the idea of how we 'edit' work as photographers. The new work is a departure but is exciting and i thnk really successful.