A Story of the Unglamorous and the Overlooked.
The eye of the beholder rarely only sees beauty. If really looking, it will instead see despair, frailty, fear, loss, and a tremendous amount of imperfection. These are the things that I direct my lens towards: the human, the “raw and real” of life and society. I don’t seek to glamorise my subjects or their environment; I observe, assess, calculate and look, with declared empathy, from a distance, which is not only necessary to this photographic genre, but has the value of preserving dignity while maintaining the viewers curiosity for more.
It is piece of visual recording and storytelling that reaches into the depths of normalcy, certain to find its manifold inversions. With carefully calibrated doses of everydayness and disillusion, The Gift is a story of life and death, of desire and the inability to avoid it; a story of self-destruction brought on by the brutal honesty of repeatedly failed attempts at self-fulfilment.
It runs alongside issues of postmodern perceptions within veracious conformity. There are overarching themes that allude to social cleansing through otherness.
I empathise with so many aspects of such vulnerability, as it is a personal reflection of myself, my 'black mirror', which I have had to endure. In all my work there is a synchronicity that aligns with recent events.
The gift that keeps on giving.
I would like to exhibit these prints and others where possible with many original ideas I have within books and gallery exhibitions, digitally interactive, silver gelatin prints produced from digital files or giclee prints on photo rag, and artefact materials I have collected for printing, then sealed in airtight containers and signed in blood or similar with a Japanese needle pen. I would hope to treat them with chemicals that would slowly alter the image but not completely destroy it straight away (don’t kill it, ill it) and reveal a second hidden image over time to the audience. Both latently fast and slow depending on time available. I have pdfs and self published books on amazon and blurb.
By using a poetic dual narrative, he aims to reveal these truths, a terrible veritas of treatment at the hands of people he trusted. Stephen will keep doing what he loves as long as he is able and if he can help stop one person from experiencing similar abuse as he has then it will have been worthwhile. But he hopes that his work will help many others.