Tag Archives: Nigel Shafran

Research Point 2

The brief:

Do your own research into areas you’ve been inspired by in this project; delve deeper into the areas that interest you. Continue to think about how this might inform your own practice.

I have to admit I am not a particular fan of still life photography and I would have to clarify that I’m talking about a staged/table top arrangement, be it rhopography, xenion or the meal on the table type of photography. I am however, drawn to found objects or arrangements that happen “naturally” for example Nigel Shafran’s Washing Up series, Richard Wentworth and Elliott Wilcox’s works, as well as that of Susan Lipper. I probably chime best of all with Wentworth’s work.

Blue warehouse – alley view by Lynda Kuit (2017)

I have over the past few years discovered that I do have a strange fascination for alleys and can see myself exploring this area in more depth when I do the landscape module. The objects, signs and colours that can be found in alleys are in a world of their own and totally different to what is on view to the general public from the road. The dilapidated fences, overgrown vegetation, moss covered roofs and discarded objects placed in the alley provide such interesting narratives. I did do a brief exploration into some alleys at the start of this module in the Square Mile exercise.

Gallery steps by Lynda Kuit, 2017

Julia Nathanson (a Canadian photographer) also is quite fascinated by laneways/alleys and I can really relate to her images because we are in the same country. The similarities to what she sees on the eastern side of the country to what I see on the western side are very prevalent. Her In the Lanes project can be seen here featured on LensCulture.  Another photographer photographing the back end of properties is Mariko Hino, a Japanese photographer, also featured on LensCulture. I’ll do a more in-depth write up on these two artists when I return from vacation.



Nigel Shafran and Sarah Lynch

According to Nigel Shafran his Washing-up 2000 series didn’t start out as a concept, but was just a close-by subject that gradually evolved into a series. This is the kind of impetus that a lot of his work springs from. Shafran always tries to build in ambiguity into his work so that the interpretation is left open to the viewer.

If I have a mental picture of what I want it is never really open-ended enough for me. If you just let go a bit and accept how things are, the possibilities become completely infinite. There’s a quote that I have probably got wrong that says, ‘to concern yourself with art, the subject is lost. To concern yourself with the subject, the art is found’.

Nigel Shafran in Interview with Charlotte Cotton

Washing-Up Series, 2000 by Nigel Shafran

His photos show the viewer the everyday-ness of domestic life, giving the humdrum activities, that we all perform without any depth of thought, another dimension. Shafran’s photos could be considered worthy of a time capsule to show people what the world looked like in the twenty-first century.

In contrast Sarah Lynch’s work is very much concept-driven. Lynch takes fragile objects like blades of grass, paper, cotton and builds sculptures with them. The objects are engineering works of balance and tensile strength, but throughout all the works the main theme that comes through for me is the fragility of life.

Suspended Realities cont. no. 2 by Sarah Lynch

I really admire the effort that gone into the setup to make this image. There must have been a lot of trial and error to achieve this sculpture.

I have to admit that my goal of making people stop and pause for a while is a relatively new one, I used to say I wanted to save the world. If I go by my old benchmark I haven’t succeeded yet!

Sarah Lynch Interview (2012)


Reference List

Boothroyd, S. (2012). Sarah Lynch Interview [online] Photoparley. Available at: https://photoparley.wordpress.com/category/sarah-lynch/ [Accessed 24 June, 2017]

Shafran, Nigel (2004). Interview with Charlotte Cotton, edited photographs [online] Available at: http://nigelshafran.com/interview-with-charlotte-cotton-edited-photographs/ [Accessed 24 June, 2017]