• Kitchen sink art

    contemporary art kitchen sink tea pot

    Kitchen sink art: Tea pot in washing up bowl

    Photograph. 2023

    A photograph showing the rim of a tea pot protruding from the detergent bubbles in a washing up bowl in a kitchen sink.

    The photograph is a good example of finding aesthetic interest in the everyday and the mundane. What can be more everyday and mundane than the washing up?.

    The first time that I remember noticing such a phenomenon was a specific occasion when I was a child in the early 1960s and I was fascinated by the colours in the soap films that were filling the gaps in the mesh of a cake stand (or similar kitchen item). I specifically remember thinking about the phenomenon of the beauty of the soap films in the setting of the drab environment of the kitchen.

    I’ve called this type of work Kitchen Sink Art in homage to the kitchen sink drama of the 1960s.

  • Architecture as abstract art

    architecture as abstract art

    Architecture as abstract art.

    Photograph. 1st December 2023.

    A cropped photograph creating an image that is quite hard to interpret due to the lack of context or visual cues.

    The railings help once you’ve realised what they are. It’s a photograph of the steps at Alexandra Palace railway station, London. Due to the cropping of the photograph the steps lose their significance as steps and only the parallel nature of the lines of the steps becomes significant, creating an abstract pattern.

  • Photography as abstract art

    contemporary art photography as abstract art - window

    Photography as abstract art.

    Photograph. May 2020. Zennor, Cornwall.

    A photograph as abstract art.

    I took this photograph because when I looked at the object in the photo in real life I was surprised how much it was transformed by a particular quality of light so that it resembled an abstract artwork.

    It’s a photograph of a window in my house.

  • Skyscape with plane

    skyscape London with aeroplane

    London skyscape with plane

    Photograph 2023

    A view of the sky over Docklands, London, from Alexandra Palace.

    It’s late afternoon sky with a low sun reflected in the buildings.

    The perfectly clear sky is featureless except for the presence of one plane heading for Heathrow Airport.

    skyscape over London - detail
    A detail showing the plane in the photograph
  • Ghost Pipe – shadows generating an optical illusion

    optical illusion created by a shadow – photograph

    Ghost Pipe – optical illusion

    Unretouched photograph. September 2018

    An unretouched photograph of a single pipe inside a room near a window.
    The shadows generated by the light through the window create varying dark areas on the wall that give the illusion of a second pipe – a Ghost Pipe.

  • 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 se. he 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.

  • sheep skull photograph

    Sheep skull

    Photographs 12th February 2016

    Photographs of a sheep skull from the rear.

    The unusual viewpoints in these photographs make the skull look unfamiliar.

    In the first photograph, above, you can’t see the eye sockets or the parts of the mouth or nasal cavities, but the image shows features that are readily, but wrongly, interpreted as these features. There seem to be eyes at the sides of the skull and a mouth at the base (This is the hole where the spine and the skull meet). There’s even a small bony structure that resembles a nose.

    More fancifully the bones that seem to form the outer edges of the eyes can be interpreted as being little arms that are dangling from the junctions of the skull and the horns, and the small bony appendages at the base of the skull can be interpreted as little legs.

    sheep skull photograph
  • 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.