A Long Journey Home
It may be stating the obvious to say beauty is the inspiration for photographer Gillean Proctor’s work. One could say beauty is the core of all visual art. But what if the quest becomes finding the beauty in places that at first glance seem ugly, regular or, at the very least, plain? In his "Roadkill" series, for example, we are invited to witness the beauty of crushed cans, bottle caps, cigarette packs, all found discarded by the side of the road. "When I isolated them from their usually dirty surroundings, you see something completely different," Gillean explains. "In cleaning them and placing them on a pristine white background, the beauty and intricate random design is revealed in the shiny bent metal and cardboard; it gives them a jewel-like quality." Then there is his "Botanical" series, which seeks to create the form, shape, shadow and light in ways that accentuate the beauty and complexities of flowers and botanicals through their short but often glorious lifecycles. "Even in death there is remarkable beauty, as they wind and twist their way back to the earth," Gillean remarks. "I think my photography is rather coloured by my romantic nature which runs throughout my work." The "Pillars of Strength" series was inspired by the awesome power of remarkable structures. As Gillean explores the vertical graphic design, paying attention to the weight and patina of the stone and the striking symmetry, we are favoured with architectural perfection as it is found in magnificent monuments that have been quietly standing in service for hundreds of years. "Again, there’s a romantic notion to this concept," he admits. "And perhaps that is another running theme through my work, romance. My newest series is about famous guitars. I was introduced to an extraordinary collection of vintage guitars and was struck by their beauty and perfection, imagining the people who built and played these beautiful instruments."
d. left, Budweiser, photograph, Road Kill Series, 30" x 40" right a., Swirl, photograph, Road Kill Series, 36" x 36" right b., Pellegrino, photograph, Road Kill Series, 36" x 36" right c., Cherries, photograph, Road Kill Series, 36" x 36" right d., Solar Power, photograph, Road Kill Series, 36" x 36"