Media - Photography
Email - email@example.com
Website - http://www.jawphotoart.com
I'm a New Zealander by birth, and spent all of my life there up till the age of 30. At that point, I moved my life over to England where I've been living since. I love my new home. Compared to New Zealand, England makes the rest of the world very accessible. Traveling from my country of birth is quite an ordeal as it's so far away from anywhere except Australia (while a twelve-hour flight and the subsequent jet-lag is no real barrier, it sure makes traveling draining). From the perspective of photography, easy access to so much more of the world is a perfect thing for me as some of my favourite subject-matter is landscape and interesting locations.
The Urge to Create
I've always found joy in creating, and I've done it in various forms throughout my life. As a child growing up in rural, and later urban, New Zealand, the foundations were laid when I discovered drawing. In my teens I played guitar, wrote, and painting class was about the only thing that made school tolerable. I love the smell of oil paint, the faint aroma of the turpentine, the texture and the potential of a blank canvas. But painting when you don't have a dedicated studio is involved, messy, and intrusive to your co-inhabitants. For those reasons, my painting output declined in my twenties.
I always liked the idea of taking photos, but mainly wanted a camera for snapshots of friends, family, and holidays. Then, one day in early 2009, I took notice of some fine-art digital photography. It was a revelatory moment.
It seemed so obviously like something I should be doing. Here was an art form combining technology (which I love) and a traditional artistic medium. No need for hours wasted setting up canvas, paints, and solvents, then cleaning up the resultant paint-spattered bomb-site, not to mention the storage of innumerable canvases. I still have clothes that attest to the zen-like connection I established with the painting to the exclusion of everything else, like not inadvertently redesigning the colour-scheme of my clothes with arbitrary patches of thick oil paint. (As my girlfriend would probably confirm, the same disappearance of the outside world occurs, minus the paint and ruined clothing, when I process my photos.)
So, no mess, high-technology, and, in as much time as it takes to boot a computer, access to your creative endeavours, which are conveniently stored as zeros and ones on the digital storage medium of your choice, ready to be pushed and pulled and erased and re-engineered infinitely to your satisfaction. Perfect. I was sold, and I bought my first camera a short time later. Coming from a base of no digital photography or image-processing knowledge, getting a grasp of the subject was a steep and sometimes frustrating learning curve for a man trying to google his way to expertise. But the goal was clear, and years of stifled creativity were inexorably burrowing into my consciousness.
Since then, I've been photographing, researching, learning, and developing my style. I think that coming to photography from painting might have encouraged a slightly different perspective and way of thinking about my images. I strive for an aesthetic quality over a documentary one, and approach each picture like I would a canvas and paint. Although I haven't painted with oils for a while, I now paint with zeros and ones. So to speak.
Art as it Relates to My Photography
I love art in all its myriad forms. I appreciate art that is geared towards the cerebral and making the beholder question aspects of reality, societal values, what art is, and any other generally accepted concept the artist decides to stomp a brazen, challenging boot onto.
Another art direction common to photography in particular, perhaps even veering away from being considered art by some, is the documentary one. That is, taking photos to record and document a moment in history.
However, not to insinuate that any particular direction is superior or inferior to another, but the emphasis of my own implementation is on visual aesthetics. I'm strictly trying to stimulate the visual senses and, for as long as a work holds the viewer's gaze, transport her/him away, and set up an atmosphere.
To be more prosaic, my goal is a pretty picture over a concept or a recording of history. Not to say that concepts and documenting are not a part of my work, but my primary concern is normally visual aesthetics.