I am a Fine Art Photographer and Artist currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Fine Art at Aberystwyth University. I am based in Aberystwyth on the Ceredigion Coast in West Wales and at my family home in Wiltshire. I’ve been interested in the arts and in photography from a young age. I have been taking photos for as long as I can remember. In addition to my photographic work, I am also trained as a painter.
My current work leading towards the May Exhibition is focused on Collodion Wet Plate Photography. My portfolio is inspired by the work of Giles Clement, Sally Mann and many other contemporary Wet Plate photographers. The whole experience thus far has been autodidactic. I have completed several experiments within the process, developing my own contemporary approach towards this old-established technique. My wet plates are shot either in camera or exposed with an enlarger in the darkroom, onto sensitised Trophy Aluminium, a blackened metal sheet. Each plate is crafted as an object rather than a print, and each tells a story as though plucked through time. They are contemporary but historical in their appearance. This exhibition is composed of my experiments in Wet Plate, breaking some of the boundaries of the process.
Current themes within my work reflect my interest in portraiture, still life and nature. I have always been inspired by my surroundings, the beautiful landscape and woodlands of Ceredigion are no exception. Recently I have been intrigued by walled gardens, the contrast between nature and artificial structure is fascinating to; in older gardens, the decrepit and ugly meets the beautiful and organic. Many of my plates are portraits, which are also shot on film in the studio. When making portraits capturing the essence of my models is the ultimate goal. Portraiture is a theme I frequently return to, I find them fascinating to make. I use props in my portraits; flowers have become a recurring feature. A wider theme is the element of time, each object capturing a specific moment, embracing the instantaneous nature of modern photography while accepting the human desire of possession.
My work is driven directly by process, I am fascinated by old cameras, their uses and the techniques involved in analogue and darkroom photography. I use a 4×5 inch camera for my Wet Plates and Mamiya C33 for most of my film work. I am inspired by the classic modernist photographers such as Ansel Adams, Bill Brandt, Yousuf Karsh and Edward Weston. I also draw inspiration from painters such as Euan Uglow and Edgar Degas. My recent still life plates were inspired by Vanitas paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries.
My work explores in a contemporary setting the experimental and archaic photographic processes which are the foundations of modern photography. This period in my work has developed me as an artist and affirmed my understanding of the roots of photography; re-contextualizing the old within contemporary practice. The work has become an appropriation of both the historical and experimental, using chemistry to create a snapshot of reality.