Inspiration

… comes in many forms…

… many many years ago back in the 1980s I remember seeing this image
and other work by Calum Colvin in London …

At the time, the thing I particularly liked about this image was the little action man figure. For one of my college briefs I had photographed a friend in the ‘jungle’ of one of the hothouses at Kew Gardens but inserted an action man figure flying through the dense foliage and mixed this with my own photos taken in the Australian rainforest. It was presented as an AV using slides and voice-over. At the assessment, my tutors looked at me aghast but I had fulfilled the brief to use macro photography and create an AV.

I saw Colvin’s exhibition just after I’d finished my photography degree. I’d taken a scientific option but tried to make the work interesting and engaging, ie, not too sterile and bound up with the technique. Actually I loved some of the techniques … photographing through microscopes, Schlieren photography, creating holographs, building our own Kirlian camera … amazing stuff. No idea where any of that work is now, probably with my dismantled darkroom in my loft awaiting a new home when I have one.

Recently I came across this photograph showing how diseases spread and it uses Schlieren photography. I used the technique to photograph a sparkler which I then made into a ‘Beware of Fireworks’ poster. Again my tutors didn’t get it at all but I enjoyed myself and that’s the main thing about college – exploring and experimenting. Colvin had the same problem at college – his sculpture tutors didn’t get his work.

Kirlian photography uses electrical charges to record the energy fields (or auras) that surround us all. The images are pretty amazing. I remember building the camera and photographing leaves and hands for a day or two and then abandoning it! Shame I don’t still have it to play around with.

Colvin gave a talk this week at Dundee University where he is now a Professor. His work still intrigues me especially his latest series inspired by steroscopic images. The talk was part of a series building up to the opening of the V&A in Dundee in a few years. So I’m looking forward to more talks and more inspiration.

Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is never limit your creativity by those around you.
Be inspired.


~ by marysia on 25 November 2011.

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