The Tide of Reason
“One observation is that every night, millions of people live in a subjective realm that is intensely visual even though their eyes are closed. It is not too difficult to move into this world when fully conscious and able to exercise analysis and direction of hand and eye. The beauty of this world is its apparent irrationality, its eye deceiving inter-correlation of visual planes, its visual association within the same framespace of disparate objects and activities, its portrayal of sometimes mundane perceptions which could not happen but only require a small suspension of disbelief to suppose that they could. This is combined with the feeling that what is ordinary is also strange and what is required is a combination of observations to create this experience.
Not all the pictures are in colour. Colour is what we normally see and most people dream in colour so what is the benefit of images in black and white?
The production of the images here has been influenced by other black and white sources that have demonstrated the vivacity and drama achievable with black and white. These include Paul Hill, the drawings of Van Gogh, Aubrey Beardsley, Man Ray and Lee Miller, Mervyn Peake, Max Ernst’s ‘Un Semaine Du Bonte’, Gerry Uelsman and John Blakemore.
The events in these pictures, or the pictures as an event, do not have a past anymore than each toss of a coin has a past. The pictures have the randomness of life as it is experienced. They are individual instances. Although there are general rules that can be applied to populations, individual circumstances are difficult to predict and are, like the pictures, idiosyncratic.
The pictures are of an individual subjective reality produced by someone who is the same as everyone else. This subjective existential reality is idiosyncratic, as would be the case for anyone , but at the same time reflecting back the reality of inner space and the wild activity of emotions and dreams platformed by the hand, the eye and deliberate observation. These are the expedition photographs of journeys into consciously observed and critically experienced territories that are just beyond the corner of the eye.
Often the pictures, the multiple exposure shots in particular, do not have a composition. The eye is invited to wander around the picture and become more deeply engaged with detail that leads to detail or pull back and experience a general impression.
The images create a suspension of time. There is no progressive narrative. Nothing begins or ends. You can start anywhere in the picture and follow the thread of free association rather like the swelling and retreat of the items in a dream. It is a mysterious world possessing he vague threat of ruins at twilight. There is enigmatic unstable architecture and faces or parts of faces sinking and surfacing. It is not possible to know which and eyes looking back from the darkness. Some of the pictures are on the edge of anxiety and also in the edge of exploration and adventure. They have the stillness, the suspension of time inherent in some of de Chirico and Edward Hopper pictures. A feeling of something about to happen but nothing does happen. There is sometimes a density of activity like a painting by Hieronymous Bosch but the narrative is provided by the viewer who discovers that there is just existence.