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Paul Gorman is a recent graduate of the Arts University College Bournemouth. Not short of talent his work at his graduate show ‘Paradalia’ was a remarkable contribution to the show. Confounded, I was immediately drawn in.

Like a flashback, an abstraction in the mind, a dream, Pauls’ work to me is visually stimulating yet theraputic. His work explores themes of perception, playing with light and the beauty of natural form. A visual getaway from the mundane, he kaleidascopically merges his exposures, transcending us into the sublime. Through his work, he demonstrates how the build up of knowledge through the senses can create a more accustomed account of the relationship we have to the external world.

Gorman uses a toya 5x4 field camera and all his work is shot on film, with very little post production. This allows much greater enlargement and is able to keep the detail. Most of his work is taken around the Somerset and Dorset area, as well as in the New Forest and Bournemouth beach. It is the interaction between the light and the film that he is most interested in, and with stunning results.

Gorman’s work falls into the ‘Abstract’ category of photography. This genre can produce quite dramatic imagery, as it relies mostly on our more primal sense of form, colour, shape and curve, than the usual subject of detail. Gorman effectively takes a different view of our world, questioning the way we look at it. Each image has an effectual use of layering and opacity.

In abstract photography, there really is only one rule to follow and that is, there are no rules. Gormans’ project has created a materpiece of colour, pattern, and texture. I really recommend you go and check him out!!! See below for details:

Email him at: paulg27@hotmail.co.uk

Find him at: http://www.paulgormanart.co.uk/index.html
Course website:

http://www.paradalia.co.uk/showcase/gorman.php


Victoria Cunningham:

Victoria Cunningham is also, like Paul Gorman, a recent graduate from The Arts University College Bournemouth 2011. I saw Victoria’s work at her graduate show ‘Paradalia’ in June 2011-The show was a stunning array of student work, and Victorias’ was one of the most memorable for me. Her images are captivating in their rare beauty, boasting technique and skill-yet kept within a contemporary and theoretical framework.

Reminescent of Pictorialist ideals of photography that often takes an approach that emphasises the beauty of subject matter, tonality, and composition rather than the documentation of reality. Victoria draws influence from this era and in particular the work of Edward Steichen.

The Pictorialist perspective was born in the late 1860s and held sway through the first decade of the 20th century. It approached the camera as a tool that, like the paintbrush and chisel, could be used to make an artistic statement. Thus photographs could have aesthetic value and be linked to the world of art expression.

This series of work is heavenly and beauteous to look at. I stand in awe of these remarkable expressions of wintry landscapes and feel a sense of escape from this mad, chaotic world that we now live in. What Victoria also nails is a sense of history. I feel like I am looking at an image of a Victorian park. She leaves out any sense of the modern world, which to me, is what anchors it so successfully. The tonality is devoid of range, but through simplifying colour, one is able to focus more on subject matter. The land holds such a vast representational value, both aesthetically and emotionally and this is obviously what inspires Victoria. Her work conceptually explores the inner psychological landscape. Themes of memory, time and emotion are all present within the work.

Victoria creates this effect through a mixture of techniques. She uses a medium format camera with film, and re-photographs a physical wall projection of transparency images. She then scans these utilising minimal post production techniques. What becomes clear later, is that the outcome is a haunting masterpiece of a space that does not really ‘exist’, cleverly drawing parallels with our own memories as fragmented, yet fluid. The overall aesthetic is achieved my manual and physical processes beforehand.


Island


I went to the graduate show of Noemie Goudal at The Royal College of Art in 2010 and have been following her work ever since. I was immediately drawn in when I came across her vast installation, accompanied by sound, and left really only thinking about her. For me, she was the highlight of ‘The Show’, RCA 2010.The images I have selected for this article are from the series ‘Island’ and ‘Les amants’ (cascade). I have decided to pick from two series as not only does she have a style running throughout her work generally, but also I just found it so hard to just pick one.Her work for me is awe-inspiring. Put simply, Goudal combines the man made with the natural, quite distinctfully. But there is so much more to it than that. Goudal corruptfully interfers with space and perception with wonderfully imaginative results. She creates these magnificent three-dimensional sets with a two-dimensional composition for the camera, which are carefully naunced. A narrative is creatively staged. Staging allows the viewer to connect the illusionism of photography with painterly representation. In Goudals work she allows us to, through construction of meaning, explore the interrelationship of control and experimentation. She creates a studio for herself on location. The studio allowed photographers to stand apart from the social world, but it was always indirectly connected to it. Goudal fuses these willfully, and successfully combines them to create elaborate stories that go beyond the confining still image. Art since the 1960’s took the studio up as a space for acting out. The studio became a mixture of stage and confessional, a protected arena in which repressed desires and fantasies are worked through. Her work for me is reminiscent of Jeff Wall in some aspects. For example Wall’s image ‘A sudden gust of wind’ which appears to be a single photograph, but is the result of theatrical staging and heavy manipulation of elements photographed over 5 months. It is his use of actors and effects, a narrative approach to the acting out of the scene that can be seen in Goudals’ work. They both take a cinematic approach, breaking the walls of the still image, more closely reflecting a frozen piece of time, than a photographic ‘decisive’ moment. It is the very use of sound (through headphones), use of actors rephotographed in front of photographs, props and extending what can be seen in backdrops physically, that makes Noemie’s work so engaging on several levels. But what her work successfully achieves is changing the perception of a space. Like extending the roof of an empty warehouse merging into the edge of a pier where our vision is transported into the sea. Or where the woodland is scattered on a floor and we are transported into an ongoing pathway through natural woodland. Goudal makes a seemingly dry part of the forest appear gushing with a majestic waterfall. She transends her environment into a place of fantastical natural beauty. What belies this work is maybe an urge to escape the ordinary and everyday, to a place where only a child like vivid imagination can hope to take her. Through re-photographing these scenes, she allows the viewer to be transported with her on a journey through her elaborate narratives.Noemie Goudal was born in Paris and now lives and works in London. She has a BA in Graphic design from Central st. Martins and an MA in Photography from the RCA.
Find her at: www.noemiegoudal.com
Email her at: contact@noemiegoudal.com