We can generally agree that a physical object is a tangible and visible entity; an entity that can cast a shadow, for example.
In 2000, shortly after inheriting camera accessories from my mentor’s estate, I made use of one particular gift item called an extension tube (useful in macro photography), and began practising with randomly selected objects in my everyday surroundings. After much trial and error, I abandoned the idea of photographing an object in its lone state and proceeded by arranging several objects in a style much like props in a theatre setting.
My first study involved a handmade ceramic guitar player as the main character. Staged and art directed, the ensemble was photographed under available light with the help of a simple desk lamp. Under scrutiny, this small, almost forgotten object appeared surprisingly relevant and imposing. As the series evolved, it triggered new ideas. Some objects were reused, while others were cast in different roles, if you will.
The journey then led me back to an old printmaking technique (commonly known as a Photogram), whereby a photographic image is made without a camera by placing objects directly onto the surface of a light-sensitive material and exposing it to light. A reassigned object, two perfume bottles and multiple glass pieces resulted in the composition, “Bottle Parts and Glass”. Playful variations followed and the exploration of the Photogram (branded by numerous artists over the years) encouraged me to name the print process a “Stephograph”.
Through curiosity born from loss, Physical Objects examines the translation of form from one dimension to another for a more engaging viewing experience. Collectively, these inanimate shapes evoke a sense of purpose or motion – persuaded in part by their geometric construction – and quietly illustrates the notion of tangibility in multiple ways.
(The project was photographed over a 10-year period between 2001-2011)