The ‘waterscape’ sees to be a staple in the arsenal of pretty much anyone who owns a camera phone, or professes to be a landscape photographer. I very much enjoy taking this type of image, as if it is done well, there is a ready and consistent market from which to make some reasonable income. I am also keen to explore the possibilities of producing a more abstract and artistic statement from this kind of work, admittedly with a much reduced commercial impact, but far more aesthetically pleasing to myself as an Artist, and hopefully to others who appreciate a variation on a theme.

Often simplistic in composition, with minimal ‘clutter’ within the image, I enjoy exploring the textures within the skies and water and have become fascinated by using a tripod and slow shutter speed to allow the image to take on an almost ethereal feel, with blurred clouds and vague, almost misty water.

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Method:

Many of the waterscapes I produce are taken around and after sunset, allowing me to use longer exposures to create movement and flow in my work (the concept of ‘flow’ is one that I have visited several times in various projects and I am a great believer in the dramatic effects that movement can add to an image when trying to convey a feeling of drama and life), often combining a tripod mounted camera set to a small aperture, slow shutter speeds, various strength neutral density filters (which reduce the amount of light entering the lens, allowing very long shutter actuations, even in broad daylight), and a cable release, to keep the camera as steady as possible and only introduce the blurring and movement that I want in an image.

I have always worked on individual projects, in order to keep myself busy, but studying at University has brought some semblance of structure and thought to my work, and given me a mental checklist to measure myself against, which has now become second nature and is always at the back of my mind when working:

Research and design development.
Conceptualisation of ideas.
Critical analysis and communication of design solutions. Appropriate use of media and techniques.
Managing workloads and meeting deadlines. Presentation and critical evaluation of finished work.

Conclusions:

As stated earlier, I am more than aware that this type of work has a much less broad appeal to the general viewing audience, but it nurtures my creative urges, allowing me to develop my own style and hopefully appeal to others who are interested in a different slant on an often recorded theme.

As a visual Artist, everything I do is concerned with light and how to best capture it. During the course of my degree, experimentation in my Art has become of great importance to me. Being immersed in an a multi-practise Art School has been a wonderful and truly enlightening time for me, both personally and creatively. the sheer level of support from both tutors and fellow students has allowed me the freedom to embrace my Art as never before, to really push on and see where my imagination will take me.

Freed from the constraints of trying to create ‘proper’ photography, I have discovered a real interest in creating abstract images, using all sorts of light sources as subjects, from colour changing LED bulbs, to the rear lights on cars and trucks, fairy lights swung around my head on a piece of string and pretty much anything that creates bright, colourful light trails.

Researching others who have gone before me has opened my eyes to the works of Artists such as Ola Kolehmainen, Angie McMonigal and Dan Flavin, who’s work with bright and colourful neon signs has been of particular interest to me.

I have also embraced to power of Photoshop, discovering the power of compositing various images into one using layering techniques-somehing i’m not too proud to admit that I had never really explored before, considering myself a bit of a ‘purist’. I can now see that this almost snobbish attitude and unwillingness to embrace the creative power of technology has (to some degree), held me back as an Artist.

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This new found interest and direction has been both a shock to me, but also a massively interesting and exciting discovery-I almost feel that I am discovering Art all over again and am certainly enthused and brimming over with the creative possibilities that an open mind and fresh perspective bring.

I will be continuing to produce ‘Commercially viable’ work, such as my Land and Seascapes (which I now supply to a number of galleries and sales spaces), but will also be  exploring he possibilities of holding an exhibition of my abstract work and trying to gauge the popularity of my new direction, via honest reviews from my tutors and peers within the Art School and beyond.

A photographer and an unopened, 65yr old bottle of ink,travelling and meeting Writers and Artists,celebrating in co-creation.

I was recently lucky enough to rescue a large and unopened bottle of “Coronation Blue” Ink-a quart in size, produced 65 years ago. This bottle had probably spent its’ entire existence at the back of a school or office stationery cupboard, gathering dust, just waiting to be used as the lifeblood of some young creative’s imaginative musings.

I couldn’t stand the thought of this bottle of as yet uncreated Art being thrown into a skip, so decided to build a collaborative project around it, by inviting as many Artistic friends as I could, to each take it in turns to take custodianship of the bottle and its’ contents, create something vibrant and meaningful with it, then pass it on to other like minds, so they may do the same.

My initial intention was to get all of the Art and Writing collected back here in Wales, and to have an exhibition based on the bottle’s journey and its’ meeting with creative minds, all over the world. I now realise that rather than just being the creator of the idea, I also want to create something meaningful in the project and intend to visit my fellow collaborators and photograph and interview each in turn, and ultimately intend to produce a documentary and book based on this global Art project.

I look at this bottle of beautiful indigo liquid and dare to dream of fabulous and as yet unborn works of Literature and Art, all waiting their time to be brought to life, to shine. Project “Coronation Blue.”

 

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A bottle of ink came into the possession of photographer, and Helfa Gelf artist Roy Barry.
This bottle, filled with two pints of royal blue ink, and with the words….’Coronation Blue’ upon the label, was made in Treforest in the early fifties, probably shortly after queen Elizabeth ascended the throne.

1953. The year that Dylan Thomas was dying.

Unopened, sitting in the dark, and gathering dust for nearly sixty years, this bottle has waited until now to tell its stories. It waited until Roy found it.

He conceived the idea that it should be passed from artist to artist, allowing each to use it in their own way. Roy’s job would be to record the process.
In this age of global communication, our thoughts are transmitted electronically. Ink no longer has a place, it would seem. Using just one bottle of Treforest ink, could we still reach round the world? Could a global population of artists still communicate from this common fountain?

Dylan Thomas was only one of this land’s many writers. This is the land of story, poem and song. The Llangollen International Eisteddfod has been inviting musicians, poets and dancers from all over the world to perform here: to visit out country, and bring their songs, their poems, their stories – and to share ours in return. They’ve been coming for a decade longer than that bottle has sat, waiting in the dark.

It’s time to take the lid off again. And it’s time to write the invitations.