Gregory Crewdson, an American photographer born in Brooklyn New York 1962, is best known for elaborately staged, surreal scenes of American homes and neighbourhoods that are designed to look like a surreal tableaus of suburban life. In 1985, he received a BA from the State University of New York-Purchase College, where he studied photography.

Gregory would see himself working in an American tradition of artists who explore the intersection between everyday life and theatricality such as Diane Arbus and William Eggleston.

One of Crewdson’s earliest projects was Natural Wonder in 1992 where he constructed thoroughly composed studio sets, using, for instance, stuffed birds and small animals, which follow their own rituals and laws and thus elude human understanding. Gregory placed severed limbs in settings where nature has overrun the human environment and developed an uncontrolled life of its own. His visual vocabulary lies somewhere between a fairy-tale-like romanticism and the classic horror aesthetic.

With this project finished, the photographer continued this contemporary style with extra development by using people and a larger studio (sometimes using its equipment outside). Gregory Crewdson would use a Sinar 8×10 camera with a large film crew.

Above is a chosen image of mine which was one of Gregory Crewdson’s photographs from the Twilight series that features a teenage boy in a bathroom with his hand down the shower’s drain. The photographer’s inspiration to create this photograph was a moment he had when he was younger where his father was a psychoanalyst bringing patients round the house for interviews while Gregory would eavesdrop from upstairs through the floorboards.

I really like this image with its strong storytelling through the brightness of the bathroom and the darkness of the drains down below, my main reason to be inspired by this image, is that when on closer inspection, many metaphors could possibly be imagined (mainly about society in general) such as a human being learning both what to experience and avoid in the world for example. Also in my opinion, the drains down below have a beautiful underwater colour scheme of blue, since the blue tiles still roughly match each other in the photograph’s exposure, this means that their all the same colour that can show that the activity may not necessarily show an image of innocence reaching for the evil. My reason that I think this space may be underwater, is that the boy’s arm reaching in this dark space is looking paler than the rest of the skin up above. This shows possibilities of an underwater drain beneath the surface. Overall, this evidently shows how I would see this favourite aspect in the photograph.




v0_master anne-hardy-thumb

Anne Hardy, a British artist and photographer born in London 1970 is known for her pieces of artwork related to the British environment that is constructed in her own photography studio in East London. Hardy studied at Cheltenham School of Art & MA in Photography in the Royal College of Art in London.

Her photographs have both a magical and naturalistic quality. The photographs display the vestiges of human storing, ordering and discarding sites where nature begins to creep into dominance as regular human use declines, these spaces also uncover the uneasy relationship between the natural and artificial.

Anne Hardy uses a range of materials from disintegrating objects to natural forms. Hardy’s photographs may start with an object and an idea that instigates her building of the scene, but the final construction develops over time as she imagines upon whom and how the fictional space is used. The photographs stay within a tight range of types of spaces: a storage area, a communal hall and a temporary office. Hardy uses a large format camera.

Anne has shown her work in many exhibitions such as The Maureen Paley in London, The Bellwether Gallery in New York USA and the Federica Schiavo Gallery in Rome Italy.

She see’s East London, where she works with a sense of other things in the environment that have been hidden away. In addition she also described how she sees her photographs in relation to the environment as a fiction that’s about a particular place that people would recognise but not that place being put together in the usual way but it is about that location that they see but it’s one step away.

Above, I have chosen two images by Anne Hardy. These three images stood out to me mainly with their compositions, metaphors and colours.

Untitled IV (Balloons 2005)

Lumber (2003)

UNTITLED IV (BALLOONS): The aspects in this photograph to me are a metaphoric environment towards students that love to party outside of their education, I imagine this reference is mainly because of the room having a chalkboard and a shelf with some objects (that perhaps are gadgets belonging to the teacher) making the area look like a classroom, which has insanely been infested with balloons and banners across the ceiling and floor which has also got a pile of used cigarettes, this entire drama is my reason that I’m interested in this photograph because of its powerful advertisement to environmental wellbeing.

LUMBER: This image contains chaos, but in a slightly different style of staged development because it is only the quantity of the same subject that’s chaos. It has limited items in the image but it still has some thought provoking storytelling. The story that I imagine within this environment is a metaphor of addiction of keeping up to date with popular trends, the reason why I see this, is because of the compositions of both the little tree and the big trees being scattered all over most of the room which is blocking a large amount of space and will probably cause even more trouble once the little tree gets replaced.

More Sources

New Photography in Britain SKIRA Photography book