Abstractions from the Southbank
The rigour of my architectural and set design training has been a formative influence on my work. My study of these fields has given me the discipline and formal understanding to execute my ideas, and fostered a habit for continual revision, reworking, and refinement of my artistic subject.
The ‘Reduction’ and ‘Beautiful Brutalism’ series transform the iconic architecture of London’s Southbank through spatial abstraction. A longstanding fascination and appreciation for Brutalist architecture make these buildings a favourite subject of my work. It is the infinite potential for transformation, abstraction, and inversion – and the beauty derived from these – that has caused me to return repeatedly to these sites.
Contrast and colour are manipulated to accentuate shapes and structures, creating new abstract compositions from the angular National Theatre and its vicinities. Negative space is explored to locate latent configurations beyond the perception of the naked human eye. Bold, often primary, colour is introduced in some pieces, flattening the image and reducing it to colour and form only. By using techniques of contemporary photography and applying my colour overlays, the images hark back to the Di Stijl movement.
My process is experimental and often involves repeated visits to favoured and familiar sites in order to examine and experience appreciably different lighting, atmospheric, and seasonal conditions. The outcomes, therefore, are rarely foreseeable. Subject-wise, I am strongly drawn to Brutalist architecture – I admire the austere, bold strength and beauty of these monuments.
When I study the structures, I abstract them in my mind in an attempt to discern underlying geometries. Some of the work is shot first on film, which I experiment with using different films and exposure durations. During the shooting I consider the negative spaces, which lends itself to the later stages of the process where I manipulate brightness, colour, and contrast to emphasize geometries and form.