Stephen is moving from work toward art in his photography. Drawing from art history, and inspired by the creatives around him; both in his life and studies, he has begun a sea-change, that allows him the freedom through photography to express himself.
Having recently completed the Diploma in Photography and Photo Imaging, Stephen has embraced art as a source of enjoyment and cathartic restoration. Inspired by nature and experimenting with various methods of photography, his goal is to keep the essence of painted work he has drawn from in his images.
“From the Ashes we Rise, and we shall Harvest the Day”
A Pastiche of Still Life
I’ve been taking photographs for quite a few years. My current reasons for taking photographs are less about the enjoyment of finding a subject, developing a composition and pressing the shutter. It’s about taking a moment out of a day and forgetting about the past and the pressures that have consumed me; escapism of sorts, rather than a challenge.
I still certainly get that feeling of satisfaction when I have taken an image that I have realised, but it’s so much more than that.
I have come from a place, like many others in my profession who take photographs for a living, of the type that Arthur “Weegee” Fellig became famous for in the late 1930’s and early ’40’s in New York. Visual stories of tragedy and death. But unlike Weegee, it’s not something I hunted for; it was (and at this point still is) my day job. But it’s something that for me, has taken a toll, and something I need an escape from every now and then.
As I progressed through the Diploma subjects of Photography and Photoimaging, my earlier work was focussed on loss, but more recently the loss is transformed into something more positive.
A recent photograph was a Still Life encompassing a display of flowers that included a mixture of some wonderful blooms and an array of dead or dying flowers within it. This was a Still Life of mine that showed parts of me, but rather than centre around loss it was symbolic of a transition in my life into positivity. I have paid my respects to death by including a medal I earned through working in mortuaries in Thailand after the Indian Ocean Tsunami claimed many lives on Boxing Day in 2004. “From the Ashes we Rise and we shall Harvest the Day”.
My own photographic journey is about harvesting that day, to live for now and enjoy what we have, whilst also appreciating and respecting the past.
I have taken this opportunity to rephotograph various styles of paintings from the past that I most enjoy. I’ve treated this process as a pastiche by attempting to focus on the qualities of those paintings and doing so as a photograph. Through various techniques of lighting and composition, I pay respects to iconic painters of varying art movements like Édouard Manet (French Impressionism), Ambrosius Bosschaert (Dutch Baroque), Rachel Ruysch (Dutch Rococo) and Pierre-Joseph Redouté from the Gardens of Josephines Château de Malmaison. Enjoy what I have arranged for you.