Monday, September 01, 2008
My first experiments with photography were alone. I would pose for the camera – a clunky plastic Polaroid 600 with no exposure controls and an automatic flash – and frame myself in close-up as I aped the facial expressions of '50s movie stars and fashion models. It became almost fetishistic, a form of role-playing that was sometimes erotically stimulating. Over the years, I amassed scores of 4"x3" instant prints but it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I exhibited a few of them as a minor part of my first exhibition of works on paper, Venus In Hell.Truth is, for a long time, I didn't really recognise them as part of my body of work as an artist. Then a friend asked to look through the Polaroids I kept stashed in big plastic bags in my studio. As he began to arrange them on the floor, I saw just how much I'd relied on them as a medium in which to experiment. In each were ideas that still bubble beneath the hard-edged, glossy surfaces of my paintings. Even more interestingly, unsettling narratives were apparent within some series of images, suggesting they were really storyboards for an as yet unproduced video or film running in my head. It's an idea I'm keen to explore in the future.