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artist statement

 

I came to photography 5 years ago from Applied Art and Design working mainly with people and students whose training required an understanding and practice in aesthetics rather than in Art itself.

Althought I spent 5 years at Cambridge School of Art and had a formal Art Education I was always more interested in the world of science as this seemed to show more the world I lived in on a day to day basis.

I came to understand that “the seeing" I was interested in was based on a matching process, not what was fully there but a matching of the available incoming information with previously stored experience, memory.

I soon became fascinated by idea that several people in the same location could percieve and describe such differing interpretations and I wanted to make a work to show and truthfully amplify these differences.

It was clear that several perceptions require several dimensions so I moved from the two dimensions I had been trained into three.

I built a Camera Obscura to see what it is like inside and as I sat there unsteadily holding a piece of vegetable paper I could see the entire world outside,in full colour constantly and moving as I tipped and tilted the paper.

If I could store such images on a light sensitive surface I would have an independent "seeing" process, which could perhaps represent and therefore convey the multitude of differences which make up our individual perceptions.

All true but all so different.

Our experience is not Platonistic ( flat ) it depends both where and with whom we live, how we are brought up and of course our culture.

So now when I meet someone I listen to them trying to find out what makes them tick. Once I have done this I try to match it to my stored experience of different surfaces: that is what my work is, the matching and then the fixing of perceptions onto photographic paper.

The main focus of the work here is around people whose perceptions are further skewed by the significant physical impairments of Parkinsons disease in Gill’s case and a stroke in Mervyns.

The surfaces I printed on to create their images have been fashioned from their words and that is why I have incorporaed them on the posters.

While the image is what everbody notices it is the surface it is printed on which actually represents the emotions and words.

John Williams - November 2007