Surrealist photomontage – wellington boots with arms

contemporary surrealist photomontage - wellington boots with arms emerging

Surrealist photomontage – wellington boots with arms

Photomontage. June 2018

A photomontage showing arms emerging from the tops of a pair of wellington boots.
The arms are sinking down into the boots, as though the footware is devouring the owner of the arms. The theme of predatory footwear is one that I’ve explored several times over the past few decades. Another example can be seen here – shoes with teeth.
Or are the arms emerging from the boots? An example of ambiguity in art.
This photomontage was created while I was exploring various options for creating a sculpture that included wellington boots. I feel that these boots have a strong sculptural presence, and I’m quite surprised how under-represented they are in the field of sculpture.
The image, which I think probably falls into the category of contemporary surrealism, is meant to be both humorous and unsettling.

Shoes with extended laces – photograph

contemporary photography - slightly sinister shoes

Shoes with extended laces

Photograph. June 2018

This photograph shows a pair of walking boots with their laces extended away from them.
I took the photograph when I noticed the boots on the floor (they are my boots). The laces and the lighting from the window create a strangely unsettling effect, to me at least.
The photo was taken while I was visiting Oban in Scotland – on the same visit as this slightly surreal photograph.

A surreal chance alignment of heads (unedited photograph)

surreal photography - strange alignment of heads

A chance alignment of heads

Unretouched photograph. May 2018

A photograph of two people standing in a way that makes their heads seem to merge in an unsettling and humorous way.
The bizarre, surreal effect of the photograph is enhanced by the uniform bright red background and the colour and style of the clothing. The glasses help as well. The photograph was taken on a ferry between Oban and the Isle of Mull in Scotland, May 2018.

Surreal anthropomorphism and a kitchen sink

contemporary art surrealism anthropomorphism - the eye of a cyclops

Anthropomorphic kitchen sink

Photograph: June 2015

A slightly surreal, slightly disturbing (to me) anthropomorphic photograph of a kitchen sink. The texture of the sink’s surface along with the staining round the plug hole and the shape and position of the overflow give this image an anthropomorphic quality in which the plug hole may be an eye while the overflow could be a nose or a mouth (or a mixture of both). If this sink does indeed resemble a human face the fact that the face only has one eye in the centre of its head suggests a cyclops.
The plug hole and overflow can also be seen as being suggestive of other human orifices of course.

Horizon Line – a cord stretched along the horizon. Land art or sea art

Contemporary art  - intervention in the landscape, Cornwall

Horizontal Line

Unmanipulated photograph. Cord stretched along the horizon: Zennor, Cornwall, UK
Plastic cord, landscape. September 2017

A photograph of a length of brightly coloured plastic cord stretched horizontally so that it coincides exactly with the horizon.
This is an unmanipulated photograph.
The work is partly about the all pervasive presence of plastic in our lives and the environment, with the piece of plastic cord seemingly stretching all the way along the horizon. The fact that the line of the cord is along the horizon created by the sea links the cord with the plastic pollution that is present in vast quantities in the oceans.
As well being a metaphor for the plastic pollution in the oceans, the cord also signifies that plastic is in many ways a very useful and pleasing substance (without which our modern world wouldn’t be able to function). This is indicated by the fact that the cord creates a very pleasing aesthetic effect. The major problem with plastics is the complex molecular structures that are created during the creation of the plastic that mean that they decompose very slowly. If this problem is solved the plastic problem will be greatly reduced (although of course it will still be a problem, along with all of the other problems based on consumerism that we are inflicting on the planet).

The work also exists at a purely aesthetic level, with an appeal generated solely through the juxtaposition of the horizon and the plastic cord.

The work was created overlooking Zennor, Cornwall, UK.

Land art in the environment, Cornwall - plastic cord stretched along the horizon
A detail of the photograph to show the church.

Fox skull memento mori

fox skull memento mori

Fox skull: memento mori

Photograph. 2017

A photograph of a fox’s skull.
Nice abstract sculptural quality I think, accentuated by the lighting and the simple composition.
Like many people, I find bones, especially skulls, very evocative. I think that it’s possibly a mix of the aesthetic qualities of the physical form of the bones and a realisation of what they actually are. They are a very concrete reminder of the transience of life:  memento mori.
You’d have to ask an evolutionnary psychologist what it is that makes them aesthetically pleasing, or indeed what it is that makes anything aesthetically pleasing.