Uniform by Alison Sye

Uniform by Alison Sye

Alison Sye, asked me to take part in this blog hop – a way of linking artists and makers across the world, so here I am hopping. I first visited Alison’s blog in January 2013 and was immediately struck by the intelligence and economy with which she made her work. Alison makes beautiful works with recycled materials (from books to work shirts). Click on the image of Uniform (above) to visit Alison’s blog.  Thanks Alison!

The hop consists of answering four questions and then linking to two new artists/makers to continue the hop…

How does my process work?

I am a street photographer. Every weekday I spend an hour or two taking photographs of what’s happening in the street. When I take a shot, instinct is what guides me – if a scene or person looks interesting to me, it probably will to others – and my best shots are the ones where there is least interference from me. Over time I have realised that, for me, trying to impose meaning or ideas on this type of image doesn’t work; the process works better when I’m acting as a receiver rather than a transmitter.

As with the shooting, I follow my instincts when making adjustments in Photoshop – to light, contrast etc, without any preconceived ideas, until the shot looks “right”.

Some shots suggest a narrative – I tend to file these away, until I find a visual response to them. This can take the form of a painted section being added or the superimposition of another street image (usually one containing marks made around the city).

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

My definition of street photography is a pretty broad one – it includes candid street shots (traditional (?) street photography), portraits (taken with the subject’s permission and cooperation), and combination pictures (street shots that have been augmented with other shots, collage or paint elements). The lens I use is a 50mm, which is maybe a bit narrow for a lot of street photographers, but it’s good for portraits – you get a truer, less distorted, picture of the person in front of you. And I like the restriction of a tight frame for the street shots.

What am I working on?

Working on the combination pictures is what interests me most and has resulted in me experimenting with painting, printmaking and drawing (all areas I haven’t looked at for years – my practice at art college was all hands-off conceptual and new media).

There are a few people I’m very excited about working with in the near future – one primarily a visual artist, the other a critic, which could take things in a new direction.

Why do I do what I do? (I love this question – it sounds like the title of a Motown love song)

There’s a state of mind where an image opens itself up – it admits an element you didn’t consciously put there (and which may not be visible) – a suggestion – and possibilities (narrative, visual, mystery), present themselves and the picture comes alive – I’m looking for that.

My nominees are:

Green Night by Steven McCabe

Green Night by Steven McCabe

Steven McCabe is an artist, printmaker and poet who uses his blog to make beautiful electronic combinations of text and image, and to present wonderfully intense and mysterious pen drawings. He is the author of the wordless poem, Nevermore Together (2014). Click on the image to visit Steven’s blog.

Face To The Wall by Wilma Millette

Face To The Wall by Wilma Millette

Wilma Millette is a collage and mixed media artist who builds moving and beautiful objects from the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life. She finds the poetry and stories in the things others throw away. Click on the image to visit Wilma’s blog.

Have a great week.