paulsandy.co.uk


Self-portrait with treeWho? Me? - Paul Sandy

This is where John Brownlow's site says "this space intentionally blank"!

Although this is brilliantly funny, it is not IMHO, very helpful; though to be sure it is probably slightly more helpful than those rambling Artist Statements that go on and on with every other word at least 7 syllables.

So, what can I tell you without opening myself up to claims that I just did / said what I said I wasn't going to do / say?

Not a lot; on the basis that a picture is worth a thousand words, I refer you to my galleries.

My basic premise is that I want my work to show the world as I see it and to impart to viewers a version of the feelings that I felt when I experienced the scene depicted. Maybe the sensations of others are the same - or similar - maybe not, but maybe some others can share something of that experience.

Although I have travelled a fair amount and therefore have made photographs in different parts of the world, I do tend to always be drawn to the UK and the South West in particular. This is very much reflected in my recent Exeter-based exhibition of scenes in and around Devon and my February / March 2007 exhibition ‘Within a Mile' which consists entirely of images made within one mile (strictly enforced!) of my home to the North of Exeter between the valleys of the Exe and Culm.

Publications, Exhibitions, etc

I have had images published in magazines, on websites, in books and as CD artwork (including booklets and front covers). My pictures have also won a few competitions over the years. I also now publish a growing range of postcards and greetings cards, with an emphasis on images of the Exe valley. My fine art prints are in both private and corporate collections.

During the 1990s, the following events took place:

  • Exeter Central Library - Views of Devon
  • Exeter University - Near and Far
  • Killerton House, nr Exeter - Caught in Time
  • National Touring Kodak Exhibition
  • Theatre Royal, Plymouth - Returning West

More recently:

  • 2005 - First online galleries at paulsandy.co.uk
  • 2006 - Images exhibited in venues in Exeter & Ottery St Mary
  • 2007 - Within a Mile, University of Exeter February - March
  • 2007 - Around the Exe Valley - Silverton Methodist Church August
  • 2008 - Illustrated article published in September's The Countryman magazine
  • October 2008 - One of my images has been Commended by the judges and awarded a place both in the Awards book and as an exhibition print at London's National Theatre in the Take a view Awards - Landscape Photographer of the Year 2008.
  • 2008 - Illustrated article published in November's The Countryman magazine
  • Autumn 2008 - Exhibition Seeing the Wood AND the Trees - Exeter, Devon
  • Autumn 2008 - a further article published in The Countryman magazine

Coming soon:

  • New articles and exhibitions being planned for 2010 - 2011

Still Reading? Oh, go on then - About My Work

Until recently I always studiously avoided ‘Artist Statements'; both reading other people's and (especially!) writing my own. Lately, however, I have started to see the point of them and although it seems that some attempt to impress through obscurity and an overly intellectual approach, I have found others to be truly revealing of the Artist's intentions – enlightening is perhaps an appropriate term where photographers are concerned.

I have therefore tried to put into words what I personally find more readily expressible in pictures, but for what they are worth, here are my words (there are much less than a thousand words here so they are presumably worth at most half a picture!) …

If I try to analyse the things that are important to me in an image, they are:

  • Place - All places are special / are unique. Scale and perspective are aspects of place and my place in relation to it
  • Presence - Flora, fauna, people, component sizes / maturity, leaves, sun, moon, sky / clouds, weather, wind, snow, water, mist, dew, ice, texture, relative positions
  • Time - Short, long, typical / atypical, long-lasting or fleeting / momentary, movement, seasonal aspects
  • Light - Constant change, colour / quality, mood, shadows, darkness. Is light a presence? Because of its importance I tend to regard it as a separate, indeed transformational, element. Texture – is this light or another presence? I list it here as usually light of a particular sort or angle declares texture which is not otherwise apparent

My aim as an artist is to capture combinations of these factors in an honest* way to make images that allow others to experience the same (or similar) feelings resulting from the combination of the place and the moment.

I produce a quarterly newsletter with images, news and information on special offers. The latest edition is available here.

* honest – not false, but not necessarily 100% as the camera recorded it or the eye saw it, which leads onto:

Digital Images?

Are my images digital? “Yes – and no” – or perhaps “yes and yes - mostly” - some of the pictures in this portfolio are indeed images taken by digital cameras, some are images taken on film by film cameras but then scanned to be ‘processed' and printed digitally.

I have other images which have been captured on film and which have been printed ‘traditionally' using wet darkroom techniques, lots of smelly chemicals, etc. Although I do still offer some images taken and printed in this way, these are now very much in the minority and the majority of my current work falls into the other categories.

Does it matter? Another “yes and no” perhaps – it matters particularly because of the (almost) universal interest in the answer to the next question, so …

Digital Image Manipulation?

I also have two answers to the question “Do you digitally manipulate your images?” – they are “yes - … and no”, or perhaps - “yes - … and yes”.

I do use digital techniques in the same way that darkroom manipulation is used to produce the best possible print from a negative or film positive, the aim being to create a print most closely reflecting (surely the right word!) what I saw / experienced / felt.

In addition, there are sometimes images where I use techniques, including some digital manipulation, to produce something from the image that may not have been exactly what was visible to the naked eye, but which I feel is the essence of, or somehow embodies what I experienced.

Some may not approve of either of these types of ‘shaping' of an image. I contend that as long as the finished product is honest (as defined above), then such techniques are perfectly acceptable; and indeed, potentially result in more meaningful images than those that are ‘untouched by human – or computer – hand'.

Conclusion

So - there you have it - please draw your own conclusion! Feel free to tell me what it is as I would love to know ...