Artist Research


The Port Glasgow book project by Mark Neville 2004-2006

Mark Neville is a British artist and photographer who had been publishing his projects in the towns he photographed. I was most interested in his dance floor photographs, much like the work of Martin Parr capturing society, Mark Neville shows a variety of people and their differences in class which were extremely satisfying for me to inspect and learn from. The facial expressions in the images even gave me a glimpse of the experiences being on the dance floors such as the music.


While researching for photography development regarding comparisons of spaces between their centuries much like my idea of looking around my local space and their memorials that represent its past, I came across the work of Pam Marlin, This photographer observed her own university canvas in Florida USA and a few other locations around the country, the website link even had a show of the work with two paragraphs underneath each image describing what happened “Then” and what happened “Now”, This made me think about what I could look more towards when developing my narrative with my own photographs and 20th century photographs from other references, this was either being the facts behind the photographs (mainly the historic ones) or the creativity when bringing the photography elements together like colours and compositions.


Robert Frank was a photographer who to this very day is well known in the art & photography world, He was famous for his series named “The Americans” which was a journey through America as a citizen who was originally born in Switzerland. I came across a video on Youtube that had an art curation of the work of Frank by Sarah Greennough in the National Gallery of Art.

She said in the video that Robert Frank was an artist “who would stand outside and look inside while on the margins of the country trying to analyse it more intensely and identify things that were more true” (instead of American stereotypes). The images in the series contained metaphors such as long endless road with stripes of exposed lights which Sarah quoted in the video as “a ribbon like effect”. Overall the work was an observation of a country in many areas photographing the rather obscure than stereotypical culture that American citizens enjoyed more.



Boris Michailov Series of 4 1983-4

Boris Michailov created a series of images in a grid of 4 which had an anonymous sequential narrative, this particular image that was part of the series interested me the most because of the image on the top right that brings the narrative feel into the work by having not only a camera eye but human eye point of view since the hand looks like to be in that realistic angle along with the exposure or density of the images feeling like a sense of being lost.



Over the top by John Nash 

“During the First World War the British government developed a variety of art schemes to record and document all aspects of the conflict from the violence of the fighting fronts to the social and industrial change at home. Art was seen as the means to convey the righteousness of Britain’s cause, to bear witness to the experience of war, to remember the fallen and provide effective propaganda. The images which were produced continue to shape our interpretations of the First World War”.

This painting by John Nash much like the photographs I took at the cemetery had a very strong atmosphere, I loved how the snow was being taken over by the moving action of the soldiers with the trench behind them showing a dramatic detail of where they started.



“Life goes on, of course. This is a picture of family life played out against a backdrop of poverty. There is laughter and affection but there is also chaos and disorder. Working with the families over such an extended period and as an insider – not part of the family but as the grandson of neighbors – allowed Waplington to record daily life in a more intimate way than is often the case in documentary photography placing us, as viewers, in the room but unnoticed.” This documentary really stood out to me as I was visually learning how other peoples cultures develop with their family livings, the actions and facial expressions of the images much like the work of Mark Neville enhances the atmosphere of light and color of the room which overall shows a photograph with a culture/personality which may be familiar or discomforting to some viewers.




Photos from The Lebanese Archive website

These two artists collect “photographic prints and negatives covering over 100 years of political and cultural history of the Middle East (c.1889 – 1993). The collection was split up when Diab Alkarssifi immigrated to the UK in 1993 bringing as much as he could carry with him to London. It was hidden for 17 years until 2010, when he brought it to Ania Dabrowska’s studio at Arlington, a London hostel for homeless men and women, where he was resident at the time. Diab engaged in the Creative Space programme, which Ania was running as part of the SPACE Studios / Arlington residency. The idea of Lebanese Archive project was born out of this engagement process”. 


Wolfgang Tillmans (born 1968) is a German fine-art photographer. His diverse body of work is distinguished by observation of his surroundings and an ongoing investigation of the photographic medium’s foundations, my favorite projects that Tillmans has worked on was his still life work of food and clothing.

This group forms part of an installation of 36 photographs titled if one thing matters, everything matters, installation room 2 1995-1997, 2003. That title conveys Tillmans’s desire that all his photographs are seen as equally significant. He suggests that an image of, say, a cup of coffee carries equal weight and importance to one of more dramatic subject matter. He questions conventional codes of representation and, in so doing, reinvigorates the genres of still life, landscape and portraiture. His images may appear artless and improvised but Tillmans knowingly adopts a ‘language of authenticity’ and many of them are carefully staged.

Gallery label, October 2013

dt9203grey jeans over stair post 1991 by Wolfgang Tillmans born 1968

Grey jeans over stair post 1991




“Nicky Bird is an artist whose work investigates the contemporary relevance of found photographs, and hidden histories of specific sites, investigating how they remain resonant. She has explored this through photography, bookworks, the Internet and New Media. In varying ways she incorporates new photography with oral histories, genealogy, and collaborations with people who have a significant connection to the original site, archive or artefact”.

“It set out to see how photography and archaeology could be incorporated in both literal and metaphorical ways to speak of ‘history’ – particularly history that is within living memory connected to a changed, erased or hidden place. The project worked in four locations across Scotland, in close collaboration with a range of individuals. The family snap played a central part in the process”.



Jeff Wall A ventriloquist at a birthday party in October 1947 1990

TATE website:

This particular image by Jeff Wall is a creative image that is initially thought to change the perspectives of its viewers, generally people could look at a children’s birthday party as a bright positive space however, this image to me has what looks like an indifferent or even quite eerie atmosphere evening of a birthday party experience as the puppet in the centre performs its act (with the control of its ventriloquist) which as a main antagonist along with the slightly under exposed lighting intensely expresses the feeling of uncomfortableness rather than enjoyment.

“Wall extends the cinematic tendency in his work, creating claustrophobic and hermetic worlds of fantasy and strangeness. Literature and philosophy have been an important influence for Wall and two of these images refer directly to particular texts. He calls such pictures ‘accidents of reading’”.


war martha rosler

Bringing The War Home by Martha Rosler 2012

After looking at the collage styles I was initially making for one of my creative starting points to narratively express my war concept, I remembered Bringing The War Home. Martha Rosler likes to look at the reality of war and bring it into American culture, the woman beside the curtains to me looked like a woman in some what of a commercial relating to housing and furniture. When having this war being “brought home” in this image, the colour tones really convinced me into this particular perspective of the two realities since they all accurately correspond with many shades of either what looks to be back and white or a sepia toned type of brown.




Watch and Dress in the Hiroshima series by Hiromi Tsuchida 

“Kengo Futagawa (59 at the time) was crossing the Kannon Bridge (1,600 meters from the hypocenter) by bicycle on his way to do fire prevention work. He jumped into the river, terribly burned. He returned home, but died on August 22, 1945.”

“Mitsuyo Furukawa (35 at the time) was in her garden (1,600 meters from the hypocenter) watering the vegetables. Although she was badly burned on her chest and arms, she wandered around the scorched land for a week, looking for Mieko, her eldest daughter, who had been mobilized for fire preventin work at Tsurumi-cho. This is the dress she was wearing then.”

The photographs to me looked pretty grim as I knew about the whole Japanese atomic bomb disaster back in the late days of World War II and it was initially the watch with the time of the explosion as its last message before being vandalised by the enormous impact leaving it (as it shows in the picture) a cold dirty smudge found on a abandoned road or some place like that in my imagination.

I didn’t really want to look to deep into something this dark and awful of a captured event which was why I then chose the image of a woman dress with its backstory of the 35 year old woman walking around in search for her daughter, the text was essential for this photograph since a majority of people that look at this image would at some point imagine  or wonder who was wearing the dress and what happened to this person, so when presented, people can find the work not only more comprehensible but realise how essential the works message is thats being portrayed.

This work along with its text has been useful to me in regards to my book development/planning as I needed to be aware of the most important elements that would make the book as I want it to be presented and how its story corresponds with that presence.



Penn’s approach to the still life evolved over decades; from the 1930s onwards, he arranged everyday objects to create assemblages, which transcended their origins and original purpose to become conceptual works of art.  

Hamilton’s gallery:(

Like Irving Penn, I tried thinking about the objects I had been using in relation to the war regarding the photography skills of creating something new out of them, I thought that essential change of images would bring out much more of a poetic narrative or story instead of a typical history book. History books were professionally factual and I had a lack of knowledge on history, but I observed its concept and brought a variety of things together in a diaristic way.


Sophie Calle is a french photographer known for her photography of expressionism created a book called Appointment with Sigmund Freud, the website “who with where” described the work in the book as “funny that she’s sharing personal information that most people would never share about themselves, therefore we as voyeurs and humans wanting to relate to others are lucky to get this glimpse into her life, but because she has opened the door, we want to know more. She leaves out information”, the book has its own diaristic format and small size along with precious colors and font which openly tells its viewers a personal story of Sophie’s life much like the artistic narratives of Tracy Emin for example, so whenever if its the natural societies of health awareness or the sophistication of being promiscuous, the book unquestionably has its flowing concept with a neat style of having still life looking images of shoes, bedrooms, and wigs along with some comprehensible poetry.




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