Both identity and storytelling have been consistent threads throughout my career, intertwining personal interests and professional pursuits.
Photography and Narrative
My affinity for photography is rooted in its storytelling potential. During my childhood, photo albums played a key role in chronicling family moments, histories and ultimately my view of myself and the world. My approach to photography extends beyond a record of a fleeting moment. I like to curate these individual moments and disparate scenes sometimes to align them in ways they would not ordinarily find themselves together. At other times, sets of related and themed images come together as a unified collection. In either case, these photographs unfold a visual narrative, like poetry, but as their source is visual rather than verbal, the memories and emotions they evoke can reach parts of our human experience that words, music and physical experience do not.
Interplay of Photography and Mixed Media
Venturing into mixed media, I combine photographic elements with varied painting techniques, often painting directly onto photographs, a practice that has evolved in recent years from manual to digital. The Painted Swan series was developed during the COVID period. Photographically, these explored the behavioral dynamics of swans, which for me paralleled the odd behaviour of humanity. Transforming the photographs through digital painting enables the blending and distorting of photographic elements, translating them into a new visual and symbolic language that merges reality with beautiful abstraction. One particular feature of this technique is the double take that it creates between – “Is it a painting or a photograph?” This is something that has fascinated me from an early stage. When I first saw the flemish artists of the 16th Century, they used camera obscura as a means to faithfully capture reality. I find it playful to reverse this process back from photographic reality into the field of pure colour and abstraction.
Career in Brand Consultancy
These days, my professional work as a brand consultant take precedence, however, the relationship to my fine art is still important. The threads of identity and narrative that initially attracted me to photography found resonance in working on the brand identities of innovative companies. This career path aligns with my interest in understanding and shaping visual and narrative identities, whether they are personal, as glimpsed through a photographic lens, or collective, as manifested through the brand stories and visuals of entrepreneurs and visionaries in industry.
As I continue to explore and create visual stories, both in my personal artistic endeavours and professional career, the parallel paths of art and career remain interlinked through the continuous exploration of identity and narrative.
Born in 1957 in Melbourne, Australia, I studied Fine Art at Melbourne University, majoring in photography, painting and industrial design.
For more about my work in branding, see my website: www.connexxions.uk
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