Off the Highway

 No Gate

No Gate

Being a stu­dent again is awe­some. It’s been ten fast years since com­plet­ing my design degree @ulsteruni. Now I’m doing my best to make it through a mas­ters. MFA Pho­tog­ra­phy, also at Ulster Uni­ver­si­ty is a world apart from pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ences. As an artist in film I worked cre­ative­ly on com­po­nents of anoth­er’s vision. As a design­er, being part of a team, solv­ing a prob­lem an cre­ative out­comes. Pho­tog­ra­phy has been a note tak­ing expe­ri­ence, punc­tu­at­ed by com­mer­cial and diaris­tic endeav­ours. The MFA (Mas­ters in Fine Art) does­n’t fit with my pre­vi­ous work, it has to be indi­vid­ual, intel­lec­tu­al­ly sound, artist cen­tred work.

While the over­all con­cept of my project work is still emerg­ing it has moved along suf­fi­cient­ly to share some of the sub-con­cept, spin-out projects, which are been part of the jour­ney.

Myself and the kids spend a dis­pro­por­tion­ate amount of time on the road, trav­el­ing back and for­ward from home to home, gen­er­at­ing a curios­i­ty around what is on the oth­er side of the hedge. The fol­low­ing images were based on a premise. Take two lefts and take a pho­to­graph in the gen­er­al direc­tion of the motor­way.

So what’s the point? Are there images that can be made while using a sys­tem­at­ic approach to loca­tion? In cre­at­ing a for­mu­la I was­n’t expect­ing so many farm gates. As an artist I can’t get away from the design­er’s desire to work with­in a sys­tem.

The first and last images in this post are two of my favourite pho­tographs. Had I not cre­at­ed a sys­tem I would nev­er have even been in these loca­tions, let alone thought of tak­ing pho­tographs like these. Being pushed to think dif­fer­ent­ly is a plea­sure.

Under Bridge Dwellings, Ourense.

 Fujifilm X-Pro1, 35mm
Fuji­film X‑Pro1, 35mm

 Nikon FM, 35mm, Kodak Double-X
Nikon FM, 35mm, Kodak Double‑X

 Fujifilm X-Pro1, 35mm
Fuji­film X‑Pro1, 35mm

I love black and white but some images just work bet­ter in colour. In this case I still like the black and white enough to keep it here. 

Robert Frank — The Americans

Amer­i­cans’: The Book That Changed Pho­tog­ra­phy–1/files/A1-RobertFrank-Slideshow.pdf–1/files/A1-RobertFrank-Reading.pdf



Andreas Gursky

Images are best viewed on the orig­i­nal web­site where their full tex­ture and depth can be viewed in a high­er res­o­lu­tion.

The flat­tened, graph­ic nature of the images def­i­nite­ly resinates with my aes­thet­ic, years of work­ing and lec­tur­ing as a design­er have cer­tain­ly had an impact on how I see and graph­ic shapes and tex­tures always turn my head or cause me to posi­tion the cam­era square to the sub­ject before when mak­ing a pic­ture. 

Not quite as dra­mat­ic as an ama­zon ful­fil­ment cen­tre or Kuwaiti stock exchange but the same tex­tur­al and graph­ic impuls­es sat­is­fied by Gursky, fuel my desire to make more sim­plis­tic com­po­si­tions. 

Images of Randalstown bridge, off the M2

Studio window series triptych

Fur­ther infor­ma­tion on these images can be found here in the post Stu­dio win­dow series