Medium:Archival Signed Edition Photograph
Size (h x w):41cm x 56cm
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Looking at the Queen
The year was 1971 and London was a glorious arena for visual
exploration. I had discovered a photographic essay about the
city that had a distinctive sixties feeling. Images explored the
incidental event using a 'fly on the wall' approach.
In the sixties I felt the material to be a little self conscious
relying on a pronounced graininess and the fashionable surprise
of matt printing in the reproduction. There was the implication that
the subject had an innate virtue, there was a desperate search for
a device or approach that would be deemed original.
Fashion photographers had used the camera as a tool of seduction.
War photographers would have to face the unthinkable; can we
begin to imagine their mindset in the face of such extremes.
I have always looked beyond the surface as part of the journey.
The visual processes connect with the restless consciousness to
a point just beyond where we stare into the abyss, and ask,
'who and what are we?'
Locked like strange citizens from the original 'War of the Worlds',
the species stare compulsively with a predetermined destiny.
Each figure seems isolated, alienated from those around them.
The hot city sun, the Edward Hopper shadows contribute a hardness,
even the stone statues seem softer than the living. Like animals
in a zoo waiting to be fed with an obligatory serving of sovereignty.
Only the making of the photograph would reveal such strange
dimensions that ask the question 'have our perceptions changed
through time, both as revealed in this image and in our reaction to
To make the photograph I stood in an open-top car (driven by my
assistant) the car was positioned swiftly between the subject and
the crowd. I became together with the camera - a device.
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