slash  |  line  |  bloom  |  fuzz  |  time

ABSTRACT ENCOUNTERS

 

James Gormley is using a combination of techniques to subvert the conventional imagery of touristic photography. At the same time, he is concerned with ontological and self-referential questions about the nature of the photographic medium regarding the ‘time’ and the ‘frame’ aspects of it. In balcony view - Kensington Gardens and Pier at Brighton Beach, he rotates his camera on a plane and simultaneously synchronises it with the movement of his eyes across a scene, visualising in an image the operator’s gestures and actions but also creating visual metaphors for projecting his thoughts and feelings at the time of the act of taking a photograph. Bringing cinematic references to his own work Gormley remarks that his images are ‘an abstraction of a thought created by a person’s vision; the condensing of a short film into a single shot, which encompasses the thoughts and feelings of a period and scene’. The instantaneity of photography is challenged here as his images suppress an extended period of time into one frame.


Similarly, in under construction-Falmer stadium, a structural composition of overlapping frames is generated out of the operator’s programme to introduce equal periods of breaks in the flow of the camera’s rotation. The visual result is a multifaceted expression of reality, which conceals its otherwise instantly recognisable features.


Gormley’s photographs of iconic and popular places of Brighton haunt us with their compelling painterly qualities of light and colour, as they do not seem to be snapshots of a traveller; they are impressions of a scene but unlike the Impressionists’ momentary glance on reality, these images are documents of the duration of a passing time, which reveal a new unknown face to the famous and overly photographed Brighton touristic locations.


email James