It is time for the Art world to accept that the photographic process can be used for art in the hands of the right artist.
As a photographic based artist it is sometimes a little difficult to get taken seriously, because I am using a camera instead of a brush or a pencil, as soon as anyone from the art world hears the word "Photography" they instantly switch off and label you simply a "Photographer" and conversely those that consider themselves a "Real photographer" do not take you seriously unless you are producing images of little birdies, landscapes and weddings so I find myself in a little bit of a predicament.
In my works I have set out to try and change this profiling by creating something unique and unusual to show that photography and art can indeed meet and even co exist. To prove once and for all to the traditionalists and the nay Sayers that photographic art does exist and its very much here for you to enjoy.
Being a Pagan artist much of my works are based on Pagan and environmental issues though I have approached many subjects with my art. (see my artists statement)
The way in which I have set out to try and change the view of photography within the art world is to combine my creative process with my photography skill, when I am creating a new piece I do not set out with my camera to some location find something of interest press the shutter release and then process the hell out of the image.
My creative process starts long before the camera is in hand for which the inspiration can come from anywhere , a phrase, a song lyric, history , environmental disasters, politics and so on it really can just appear in my crazy mind from the most unlikely of places.
My artworks can take hours ,days or even weeks to plan and prepare prior to set up before the final moment of creation, To achieve my desired goal I use much more than a camera and some imagination I use backdrops, varied lighting, fire, water, varied chemicals , smoke, props, dirt and so on the list is endless.
when I create my works they are created alongside a strong underlying narrative that goes hand in hand with what I am producing and yet in the art itself creates impact and emotion from the offset without really needing to read the accompanying narrative.
One example of my process that I share with you today is within a piece called "Environmental Annihilation"
How This Piece Was Imagined
The umbrella was coated on the outside with black squares of sticky back Felt pads , these pads were coated with a Fire retardant spray to make the umbrella burn longer than it would have done on its own, this was also a safety precaution as the umbrella would have just burst into flames and rained hot dangerous lumps of burning canvas directly onto me.
( I did not fancy this) , on the inside of the umbrella I had lined with tin foil this served two purposes one was again safety for the same reason as stated above and the second was to reflect light from the six Manfrotto LED lights that were fixed on the underside of the Umbrella to give the desired downward lighting for this shot, I also had a further four more powerful LED lighting panels around me to light my upper body.
A small container fashioned from a Kinder Egg toy holder was attached to the underside of the umbrella in which I put the flu tester when it was ignited this created the smoke that envelopes our gas mask clad citizen (me)
Although the mixture of Felt pads , Fire retardant spray and tin foil did help the umbrella to burn a little longer I still had very little time to get this shot before my creation was in cinders.
With so many huge money hungry corporations tirelessly destroying our environment and the air we breathe with the simple goal to earn more money, the threat of many natural disasters such as Solar flares (CME) our citizen makes his way to his destination wearing his gas mask and holding aloft his umbrella which saves our citizen from a fiery destruction.
And finally I present to you the definition of art as published in the Oxford English Dictionary:
"The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power"
So I ask you does my Photographic based artwork and process tick the boxes of this definition? if the answer to that is yes then the art world MUST accept that my work is Art and if so then a new revolution in art is born.
My Artists Statement
My artworks take a critical view of such things as worldwide governance and their insidious hunger for control, hidden agendas, conspiracy, current affairs, historical atrocities , religious fable, pain, anguish and environmental destruction.
Having engaged subjects as diverse as the religious wars of the Knights Templar, emerging political freedom fighters and global environmental destruction , my work incorporates familiar visual elements, arranging them into new conceptually created pieces.
I seek to engage with conscious thinkers and those that are connected to the earth, the economics of the environment and humanity. In the hope to bring to them a different perspective or alternate understanding of things in which they may already be familiar.
My methods are ultimately photographic in nature but will include the construction and the setup of the piece prior to creation.
During this process I use such things as methylated spirit, Ammonium Dichromate, Lighter fluid, smoke pellets, wire wool, costumes and many other elements and objects that make my works unique.
More of my artworks can be seen on my own web gallery at www.DarrenBaileyArt.com
Where I am happy to answer any questions about my work and how it is done.
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