I am constantly in search for that core element of being that ties everything together. The greatest curiosity I am afflicted by is about the self – who are we? Where and how do we fit in with everything else? And after all, what is everything else?
Through my work, I have always tried to seek something that is beyond the physical. Some might call it the soul. Whatever it is, I have a belief that there is something ethereal that exists beyond the material, which is the source of emotion. I am not religious. Religion is something created by man to give a mass-explanation of the undefinable. Spirituality is a personal experience, and that is where my interest lies. Over the years, man has grown to trust his physical senses over anything else, since they provide a degree of certainty. For this reason, the physical appearance of images is often overpowering, particularly in photography, to the extent that it becomes very difficult to retain a pure emotional content in images, especially one that is not directly related to their identifiable contents. I am interested in investigating whether such emotional transfer can be retained from the original, first-hand experience, and passed on to the viewer via the medium of photography.
The era which most closely reflects these interests is the Modern period, particularly the expressionist and abstract expressionist movements. I see in this art the attempt to transfer pure emotion onto a physical medium, most commonly painting – the same aims I try to achieve through photography. My search for the beyond has also meant the need to shed many of the protections that are inevitably build over the years. What this has led to is a close relationship with my surroundings and a growing love for nature. This relationship has triggered a fascination with decay – I see it as a form of healing process from man’s often barbaric intervention on nature, and my work often focuses on extracting and materialising the beauty I see in this through observation and post production.
More recently, this love for nature has evolved towards the use of long exposures in order to capture movement, either mine or my subject’s, blurring or removing entirely physical characteristics from the image. By doing so, I introduce the element of time, expand the element of space and remove the element of detail. The viewer is therefore guided into seeing the images as a whole, rather than analysing them in detail as often happens with photographic images. The ultimate aim is to retain the sensation of a place or subject in general, rather than reproduce the appearance.
Our perception of reality is highly subjective. It is an individual experience shared by no-one else – an amalgamation of sensory perception and ever-changing emotional baggage. My work sits in between my reality and that of each other individual. Through the limitations of photography, I attempt to portray the way I perceive the world, and to an extent, condition others into steering towards it. Photography is the ideal medium to achieve this goal. It’s inevitable association with the real puts it into a unique position to be believed, even though at its most basic, an image is nothing more than an exercise in manipulation.