A Long Jour­ney Home

Arabella - - NEWS - Brett An­ning­son

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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.,...


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