Living on this amazing jewel of a planet it never ceases to amaze me how so much of what us humans do is simply insane, we invented capitalism, nuff said. So my mind started to wonder what aliens would make of it all, but then decided they’re probably nuts too.
In November 2011 George Bush and Tony Blair were found guilty of war crimes by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal and whilst this is not internationally binding, it paves the way for an internationally binding trial. Astonishingly, this news did not make it into the western media and, naturally, I have to wonder why? Like the News International phone hacking scandal, this is clearly in the public interest, unlike the western media reporting on what Kate Moss shoves up her nose. People may have a puerile interest in Kate Moss’s coke habits but it cannot be deemed to be in the public interest.
In order to address the peculiar disinterest of western media outlets I felt I had to do a bit more than a ‘disgruntled of Peasedown’ letter to the media. So I engaged the services of my bear, Mr Suggs, and contacted the Guardian and the Telegraph and haven’t heard a word on the matter since.
Ham Hill Country Park with a bit extra slipping through from another dimension.
When I moved from London to Peasedown St John I had little idea how much living in London had stunted my being and how much waking up I had to do. In discovering this new world I had moved to I visited Avebury, having never been to a megalithic site before. I took the tourist route, following the signs, and was amazed by the magnitude of the site and its undertaking. I eventually arrived at what are known as the Portal Stones, one of which has a natural seat shaped hollow into which I gratefully plonked my rear end to rest my weary bones. Within moments I began to experience a strange shaking in my stomach, which steadily increased almost to the point of discomfort. What was surprising is that I wasn’t alarmed by this and I sat experiencing it for some time until it gradually faded and ceased. I picked up my camera, made my way to my car and headed home. On the road for just a minute I was suddenly overcome with tears, crying such as I’d never done before. My overwhelming feeling was that the experience I’d just had was a homecoming, a welcome, an opening up and the beginning of a detox from my life in London. My only explanation was that I had been welcomed by what I chose to call ‘The Earthsong’, I had been met by the land in some primal way and I was being welcomed as a part of it.
I’ve been to Avebury and other megalithic sites many times now, plus a couple of Solstice celebrations. I’ve been regaled with stories, recommended books and enthusiastic theories. The simple truth is I don’t care why they are there or how they were built, I enjoy the sense of mystery much more than all the pointless conjecture. Why spoil the wonder? Like a gorgeous sunset, silence in the presence of something awe inspiring is a fine thing.
Because I can.
Unlike speech and the written word, the dialogue the viewer has with an image is non linear and, as the dialogue is voluntary, it can be non existent. Engaging with an image, like everything else in life, improves with practice and is, largely, something that the viewer gives their self permission to do. It can be blocked entirely for all sorts of reasons, mood, environment, disinterest, boredom and sensory overload, as in a museum or gallery where there are too many items and too much information on display.
The oft used expression ‘the camera never lies’ is really a ludicrous statement as much as, ‘A bus never lies’ or ‘a can opener never lies’ would be. To even consider that a camera might or could lie is anthropomorphic nonsense, it’s just a machine. It is the person using the camera who takes meaningful images and as such, every picture represents the view of the photographer and an image can be very deceptive indeed. Every picture has a context, be it a war zone, a rural landscape or a portrait and it is that visual context that has the first impact. The story then is about what the context is portraying and the story it contains and there is plenty of room for deception there, both in the photographers intent and the viewers interpretation of the photographers intent and of the image.
Images, then, are fertile ground for the imagination and ones internal dialogue, the level of engagement with an image is decided by the viewer, even to none at all through simply browsing with ones mind pretty much switched off. As a photographer and graphic artist the narrative of vision is everything to me and accounts for my life long love of visual imagery. Whilst I can and do engage with others about the visual narrative I seldom include my own narrative with my work because I believe that is the viewers prerogative and I have no desire to control or influence that.
Where I do include words, they are usually added to the image for social, political or satirical reasons.
It never pays to take oneself too seriously, so these are a poke at all the pompous egotism in the world and advertising especially, which is all just very expensive bullshit.
This was the brainchild of a friend in Australia, Felix Collado, a man I respect and admire and whose work I find inspirational especially ‘The Mundane‘. It isn’t often that I’ll get fired up by something someone else has dreamed up, preferring to explore my own ideas, but this one really was a great idea and fun to play with. This is the original “Corporate Tools for the Modern Work Place” by Felix.