I have a problem with Photography as an Art Form. I have a problem with most Media as Art because according to my Philosophy, “If you’re going to make something, You need to have something to say”. It’s not enough to capture a moment in time or to express yourself. For the most part, what most of us think needs saying does nothing to serve Humanity. I exist for a reason and that reason is my purpose. My purpose is to serve. That said, it’s essential to Being and Existence to cultivate a unique understanding of how We as Individuals function. What works for me?
Who am I? Where do I come from? Why am I here?
How do I best represent myself, and how do I interpret these questions to benefit others? If you can’t answer these questions and you are an Image, Sound or Idea Maker, chances are your work is mostly about Narcissistic representations of personal matters.
As a child I wanted to be a Brain Surgeon. From the moment I heard that the Brain controls everything we do, I wanted the job of working with It and improving Its’ functioning. I don’t like blood, hate hospitals and nearly died at the cruelty of dissecting those poor Frogs! Fortunately, there are other ways of exploring the Mind so I’ve worked extensively with those which don’t require blood.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
I want to change the ways in which we think about one another. Neurologists have found that traumas can be worked through to reduce and or eliminate the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress. When something or someone has caused us pain, it has an effect on how we process all events that run through those same circuits of the Brain. Our actions are then influenced by these preprogrammed traumatic responses. By going back to an event which elicits similar responses as the trauma, and walking through it while stimulating the Brain’s Hemispheres, we can rewire our processing unit. It’s possible to remove the charge. It’s possible to change how we see things and as a result; our actions.
What if it’s actually possible to produce the same effect with regards to: Racism, Hate, Fear and Intolerance? I think it is, so I work Allegorically with universal themes common to every culture. We all eat, sleep, love, philosophize and collectively engage in Anthropomorphic and or Religious activities. I tell a story with a fluctuating national identity and hope that it can get beneath the layers of built up notions to affect how we see one another’s worlds. In my photographic explorations, I’ve accomplished this by crafting manipulated or synthetic images. This is staged a bit before and after the camera work. I generate all of the handcrafted images to set the Aesthetic point of departure. These Medieval and Renaissance style Book Arts give my work the feeling of drawing upon Historic References without actually doing so. By controlling “what is Medieval” by creating Illuminations, Historiated Capitals, and Folio Frames in my own Hand, I’m able to create the seams of an intact visual world. The stained glass illustrations and light cuttings offer other dynamics and dimensions to work with visually. Because I create these myself, they’re tailored to later manipulations.
This Summer, when I began learning Photography I was terrified by the idea of Portraits. Although I can produce Photo-Realistic faces, I feel great angst when it comes to drawing and painting. I feel like it’s much harder to put myself in the image if there’s Someone else’s face there already. To this day, I’ll only produce a face by force or a particularly impulsive mood. Somehow it always works out. When I found a model I liked to work with, I pushed myself to learn how to capture her on film. Later I spent some days at Bellfontaine and Calgary Cemeteries capturing Historical Statues which could be used to create landscapes for the characters in my fairytale. My final collection of Images are a glimpse into a magical world where Light, Shadow and Storytelling mingle.
Thank you for teaching me!