Page 1

HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | ISSUE 02 | NOVEMBER 2009

2 HAPHAZART!

FEATURED ARTISTS ASHLEY HOLMES LEONIE POLAH JANE UNDERWOOD

IN THIS ISSUE HAPHAZART! COLOUR haphazart!ists talk about colour


HAPHAZART!

2

Welcome to HAPHAZART! SQUARED – the second issue of the magazine that complements the Haphazart! Contemporary Abstracts group on flickr. We are an art photography group dedicated to accumulatingand evaluating images abstracted from our everyday surroundings. If it’s abstract it’s abstract. If it’s not abstract, then it must at least be an abstract point of view – an abstract way of seeing the world. Random must have its place; haphazardness too! A good sense of humour is an attractive attribute!!!


Š 2009 HAPHAZART! and the contributing artists. HAPHAZART! recognises all copyright and trademarks. Where possible we have acknowledged the copyright holder. Contact us if we have not credited your copyright in the right way and we will correct any oversight. Email: haphazartmagazin@gmail.com.

HAPHAZART! is published by Blurb Inc to complement the haphazart! Contemporary Abstracts group on flickr.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

04

Introduction and Welcome

05

Featured Artist Profiles

06 Ashley Holmes 36

Jane Underwood

62

Leonie Polah

90

haphazart! Colour

121 Artists 122 Image Index


FREAKS, FOOLS AND PRANKSTERS! Welcome to the second issue of HAPHAZART! - a magazine for and by the haphazart! Contemporary Abstracts group on flickr.

EDITORIAL TEAM

IN THIS ISSUE

Magazine design: Ashley Holmes

HAPHAZART! #2 immediately suggested Haphazart Squared, which led the editors to explore the images of our group’s contributors who work in square format photography. That process turned up patterns of formal symmetries articulated in patterns of bright colours. The galleries you see in HAPHAZART!2 are the results of those explorations in form and colour. Twenty-one artists present their photographs and talk about the importance of colour in their work. We invited three long-term members of haphazart! who each work in square format to talk about their backgrounds, their photographic experiences, and their ideas about photography, form, colour, and purpose. Ashley Holmes, Leonie Polah, and Jane Underwood come from three different continents, with divergent backgrounds and training, and different approaches to their environments in producing urban abstracts for haphazart! We hope you enjoy HAPHAZART!2 and invite you to visit us on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/haphazart/ Best regards, The Editors

Dom Ciancibelli, Ashley Holmes, Christian Kinzler, J Neuberger, Krystina Stimakovits

FEATURED ARTISTS Ashley Holmes Leonie Polah Jane Underwood HAPHAZART! COLOUR ARTISTS Michael Cogan, Wilma Eras, N. Nirvana Geuvdjelian Herrera, Annemie Hiele, Ashley Holmes, Andrea Kennard, Christian Kinzler, Hercules Kougemitros, Dalibor Levícek, Carl Lukasewich, Mike Lusk, Kate Mellersh, Csaba Molnár, Katerina Papandreou, Leonie Polah, Seldon Scott, Krystina Stimakovits, Jane Underwood, Jim Unterschultz, Marja van Bochove, Robert Wallace, Geoff Wood COVER IMAGES J Neuberger WRITERS Ashley Holmes, Christian Kinzler, J Neuberger, Leonie Polah, Jane Underwood © 2009 HAPHAZART! and the contributing artists. HAPHAZART!2 is published by Blurb Inc to complement the haphazart! Contemporary Abstracts group on flickr. Copies available at Blurb.com


ASHLEY HOLMES (linkwize) Queensland, Australia isolated perceptual reflections paradoxes of points of view explored by craft, knowledge and art captured through contemplation and reflection

LEONIE POLAH (polah2006) Amsterdam, Netherlands photo-artist seeking the bridge to the real world a space between abstraction and figuration

JANE UNDERWOOD (my.third.eye) San Francisco, USA photo-snapping enthusiast discovers while in the act of seeing shape, form and line with her third eye


Ashley Holmes is a new media artist and academic whose work for haphazart! is unique in his practice. While his usual projects bring together multiple images and media in open-ended installations that raise challenging

HAPHAZART! ASHLEY HOLMES

social and political issues, his photographs project harmony and containment. His use of the square format, the still form, the abstract, and the expressive colour all give him one of the strongest voices in the conversation about abstraction and post-modern spaces that is haphazart! .

EvidentEntropy02 | Ashley Holmes


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#61 | Ashley Holmes

8


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#60 | Ashley Holmes

9


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

Inverse question and its inverse | Ashley Holmes

10


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

CrackingFifty | Ashley Holmes

11


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

12


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

round 1969, in my public high school in New Zealand, we had a dark room. The air in there was thick with acid and cigarette because delinquents would go in there to smoke. I hung around watching the one or two serious guys who worked on the school magazine and learned some. One day I plucked up the courage to crack open a plastic instamatic 110 cartridge, slice up the film and tray develop it in total darkness. It was kind of scary but I thought the result was magic. I still have the very first print I made from those negs.

A

When I got to art school there was no film major so I had to opt for photography. There was a brand new department headed by a Californian import. I became well grilled with slide shows of all of the American masters, but had never seen any of them in print until I took a trip to the National Gallery in Canberra. The collection there blew me away. When a new photography gallery opened in Adelaide I took a part-time job there as a gallery assistant. I also photographed weddings to pay my way through college.

It wasn’t until I got my first real camera, a second-hand Nikon F,

For a couple of years I took my own art-making quite seriously; was included in significant survey exhibitions and had some luck with grants. But I found I just couldn’t afford to keep making art objects. The pressures of supporting a young and expanding family eventually tipped me over to a full-on commercial path. The studio I co-founded was unusual at the time because we offered photography, illustration and design services under one roof. That was how I spent the ’80s. Entrepreneurial pursuits meant that I didn’t make any real or ‘fine’ art again for a couple of decades actually.

after I left school, that I started to get serious about making pictures. I loved that camera straight away – just one standard lens, but it was a beaut. Without even trying it would produce classic results. For a couple of years I was taking lots of pictures and got all my rolls commercially processed and proofed because I had no darkroom. In fact I had no home. I was a happy hippy; truckin’ and tokin’ and snappin’. Chasing a particular lady friend I ended up in Australia. In 1977 I was cleaning windows on the Brisbane skyline – when we weren’t marching on the streets to protest against ‘Bjelke Joe’, the corrupt premier of that state, who had had the audacity to ban street marches. I had my camera with me while walking in solidarity with thousands of protesters, who were nearly outnumbered by the armed police in riot gear that lined either side of the long road into the city from the university – three deep. Police photographers were snapping us with telescopic lenses from the roofs of houses all along the way. It was only then that I realized that photography could have serious consequences. That was kind of scary too. I still have the negatives I took that day. They are a prized possession; like a trophy. We hatched a plan to get out of there. It included me going to art school to study filmmaking. Looking back, I have to admit: even though I had been politically awakened I was still very naive.

BasketCase | Ashley Holmes

Around the turn of the century, after a marriage breakdown and a couple of bad business decisions I started all over again by taking one of the new-fangled degrees being offered – in visual art studio practice. I started making art that you didn’t need to frame. It didn’t cost much to make because it didn’t have any substance. It was virtual and actual and real, and anything was possible. It reached a world-wide public! It was Internet art. Photography (actually, these days I prefer the term ‘photomedia’) is a means of selection, collection, interpretation, and mediation of visual data. For me it happens in different ways in different contexts. Mostly photomedia is a way of isolating a perceptual experience so that it can be reviewed and reorganised in some way. It is important to me because it has become part of the way that I make sense of things – on reflection. [>> p 14]

13


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

I think that an artist is dedicated to the pursuit of answers to questions specific to her/himself and to working these out in whatever way it takes. An artist will go to great lengths, and often be open to accusations of obsessiveness or selfishness during a productive period because the pursuit becomes paramount. There is also an experimental aspect to art practice that can be likened to experimental scientific practice. In either case you often don’t really know what you are doing until you’ve done it. When I was working commercially I never considered what I was doing to be art. There was an art (craft) to what I was doing but it wasn’t ‘art’. Sure, it involved creativity, but commercial objectives are set by the client. In art practice, the parameters are defined in the context of the artistic pursuit . I have to say that I’m always finding my style and that it is dependent very much on context. The images I make and share in haphazart! are unique in my work. My ‘rebellious’ background meant that as soon as I discovered haphazart! I felt at home. I was particularly attracted to the constant idiosyncratic discussion that was taking place there. For my flickr participation, I developed a format that was derived from the structure of the flickr site itself. A square image maximises the space allocated to the thumbnail format of a group photostream. The full-size image and the thumbnail match. The style of my flickr images is undeniably informed by that square format. What I produce with haphazart! in mind is not unrelated to images I produce for other reasons and purposes, but rarely are they one and the same. The images I make for flickr arise very much out of my engagement with the other artists who work in the abstract genre, particularly those in haphazart! It’s a kind of visual conversation and repartee.

14

The strange irony for me is that I have never been a fan of the single image as a capsule of sensibility and expression. I have always worked by stringing images together spatially and temporally in an effort to explore what I consider to be paradoxes of point(s) of view. And yet in the context of haphazart! I am happy in a pursuit, which has formerly been abhorrent to me! Each image is like a study in a fascinating mixture of formalism and expressionism. In fact each is much more like an indulgence – instant gratification. Non-figurative visual hedonism! By contrast, the projects of my ‘real’ artwork develop over long periods of contemplative time and have much more of a social conscience. I’m not really one for technical detail. I like to think that the classical imperatives: techné (craft), episteme (knowledge), and poïesis (art) come together in my approach. Because I have shot square in the past I can think square, so I capture images with the square format in mind. I often rotate the camera ninety degrees when I’m framing up just to check that the aspect ratio is fitting. So in cropping I’m just fine tuning that selection. Cropping is critical to a composition in my book. Working square the way I do – sometimes even a line or two of pixels can make a difference; or a degree or two of rotation. Adjusting the levels, contrast, saturation are all things I do routinely. I often play with the colour balance a little. This includes selective adjustment. These are just controls that one would have had in the lab and darkroom anyway. Quite often I will transform perspective or even distort to align things the way I want. I think this comes from my past experience working with the view camera. I have been known to montage and to remove unwanted artifacts or objects. The only effect I use regularly for flickr uploads is the unsharp mask because I think it tends to counter a subtle amount of jpeg compression, oh,

and occasionally I might add some tiny amount of film grain just for the sake of nostalgia. I like the fundamental symmetry of the square format and how the vertical, horizontal and diagonal axes maintain that symmetry. I like its fundamental relationship with the circle – its wholeness and self-contained-ness. A square can reign in or contain the most unruly of fractals. I like how the corners are all in the same relationship with each other and that the corners always seem in close proximity to each other. It’s a comforting shape in that way. It is egalitarian. Bunches of squares are interesting to play with too. The square format is harmonious and balanced in a way that no rectangle except for a golden rectangle can be – and that’s because the golden mean has a square (and a circle) at the foundation of its ratio. The symmetry and harmony that I’m discussing here are not to be confused with beauty as an aesthetic category. If there is ever a sense of beauty, it’s more conceptual than visual for me. The whole idea of beauty may be turned on its head as a kind of ‘inverse aesthetic.’ In this space mountains may become holes in the ground filled with toxic wastewater. A river might be orange and oily looking. Breathing is exhilarating because acid fumes burn your nostrils. I might experience this kind of scene as awesome; its real – and visually beautiful. But as soon as I admit that, part of me knows I am negating what beauty always used to be about and the whole idea of beauty becomes meaningless at that point. So there’s this conflict. To be zen about it, conflict and harmony need each other to exist. I think I work with both in my pictures. Chance plays an important role in my approach to image making. But I do not leave everything to chance: I will go to great lengths to set up a situation and to observe a grammar of practice, but I am always open to chance elements. I believe that tuning into chance elements gives the image [>> p 27]

SymbolicViolence (Homage to Pierre Bourdieu) | Ashley Holmes


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

15


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

PinkPackage | Ashley Holmes

16


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

TwoColourCarton | Ashley Holmes

17


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#48 | Ashley Holmes

18


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

ApproachingLow3 | Ashley Holmes

19


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

TateWindows | Ashley Holmes

20

NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#58 | Ashley Holmes


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

21


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#42 | Ashley Holmes

22


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

HiKi | Ashley Holmes

23


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#34 | Ashley Holmes

24


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#58 | Ashley Holmes

25


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

A selection from the Synapsecity series | Ashley Holmes 26


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

itself some agency over its own existence – allowing the image to ‘speak’ for itself! I often work to haphazard! weekly themes, especially if I haven’t had a photo fix for a while. Participation in the themes is a great antidote (or purgative). Because I’m tied up with other daily and longer-duration pursuits, the engagement with haphazard! brings me back to the basics of photo practice on a level that demands constant exercise; bringing me back to the roots of personal expression in a medium where I think I know some of the language. Participation in haphazart! is like a conversation using images in place of words. If we were to talk about influences strictly in the context of what I submit to haphazart! then I have to say that what colleagues exhibit often has a strong influence. I am also fascinated by images that come from realms beyond our perception; images from the extremities of the macro and the micro. The one that adorns my desktop for now is of the Helix Nebula as captured by NASA Hubble Space Telescope. It’s the one where the red gasses form an abstraction of an eye shape appearing from the star-studded blackness with a luminous translucent turquoise iris; as if the universe is observing us. The picture is actually a composite of nine images from the Hubble and one from an observatory on earth that was used to provide the wider view background into which the montage image of the nebula is set. According to NASA the opportunity to capture this image during nine consecutive orbits arose by chance when the craft had been rotated to avoid damage during a Leonid meteor storm in 2002. I haven’t been drawn to work specifically in black and white for some years now, but I could at any time be fetishistically seduced. Black and white photography often involves qualities like the structure of the grain and how this affects the tonal rendition. Obviously, the absence of colour heightens attention

to tonal issues and visual concerns more starkly related to form and spatial relations. There is also the opportunity to hone in on the essence of social interactions because of the absence of the emotive power of colour, which can be a distraction.

get lost? I don’t know. But I do know that if the trail were to

Colour, on the other hand, is so much a part of the environment that it is harder to make it special. Making colour in an image special is part of the challenge of working in the genre of abstract realism that we celebrate here at haphazart! It interests me that quite a number of colleagues in haphazart! and more broadly in the flickr community pay homage to painters in their work. This suggests to me that in our ever shrinking world there is a convergence of art forms that were once quite distinct. There is nothing particularly new in this but the technical fluidity afforded by the digital workspace affords us unprecedented liberties. And there is also the impact of accessibility to diverse influences that at first was so much part of the post-modern quandary of meaninglessness. Now, in the wired and networked naughties we are more used to that state of constant multimedia bombardment. And, because we can check anything out in an instant we can be surer of ourselves if we want to assume a position and run with it. I think that we can now see our way out of Baudrillard’s hall of mirrors. In fact, if you look at the later photos of Baudrillard, especially in his ‘murder of the image’ series, he seemed just as concerned as any haphazard! contributor with the intricacies of urbane detail.

photographic enlargements but the images are documentation of

disappear I’d feel awfully lost. The images are my breadcrumbs. My most recent artistic exploits are currently being exhibited as new media site-based installation works. Did I say that I was an old hippy? Well I have been wondering lately what has actually happened to that revolutionary spirit in the forty years since Woodstock. It interested me that on YouTube one can find old recordings of protest songs from that era. When I was invited to participate in a project to make environmental art concerning our use of water I decided to make use of lyrics from some of those songs. I bought some programmable scrolling text badges, some solar cells and some bits of wire to hook them together. I used clothesline, clothes pegs and plastic sandwich bags to rig the text scrollers up at various locations and chose song lyrics, which were programmed into the scrollers. For instance, in the Eungella National Park adjacent to the platypus lookout that all the tourists use, where there is concern about recently recorded high levels of e-coli, I

Making sense of the contemporary colour world is a concern of some of those participating in the emergent shared megamedium. This is certainly how I approach it. My experiments reproduced in this magazine document my attempts to find a way out of the woods. The contemporary colour world is kind of a maze. As I negotiate it I am unsure where I’m going. To help me make sense of it I contemplate, capture and reflect. The images I make are cast out as markers. Is this so that others can follow to find me, or so that I may retrace my steps if I

used the lyrics from the Beachboys’ 1971 song, “Don’t go near the water.” Can you see now how my work outside of haphazart! rarely translates into the haphazart! genre? And that is in turn what makes haphazart! unique for me. It’s a kind of isolated sphere of activity that is just for fun. [•]

27


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

OldBurnouts#4 | Ashley Holmes

28


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

BlueCircle | Ashley Holmes

CyanEllipseCracked | Ashley Holmes

29


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

Of/fSymmetry#2 | Ashley Holmes

30


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#4 | Ashley Holmes

31


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#13 32 | Ashley Holmes


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#3 | Ashley Holmes 33


NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#56 | Ashley Holmes


NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#25 | Ashley Holmes


Jane Underwood is one of our most accomplished “accidental photographers.� She began snapping pictures of her neighborhood, capturing the spectacular light and colour of San Francisco in its minimal

HAPHAZART! JANE UNDERWOOD

details. The more she shot, the more abstract those details became, and the more haphazart her view of the city. Jane is a disciplined seeker: she combines spontaneity with determined, conscious shot-making and she joins the natural with the built environment to make soulful, artful urban abstracts.

Dumpster Beauty #6 | Jane Underwood


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

The Shape of Things | Jane Underwood

38


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

At My Feet | Jane Underwood

39


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

Untitled | Jane Underwood

40


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

Untitled | Jane Underwood

41


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

42


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

J

une 1997 - First Foray into Photography

I am new to San Francisco, freshly graduated from the University of Utah with a highly impractical degree in creative writing (emphasis: poetry). I become a clerk in a record store. I fall for a man who shows me a book by local photographer Imogene Cunningham – portraits of the elderly taken when she herself was an elderly gnome. I know nothing about photography, but I save up to buy a “fancy” camera anyway, one step above a brownie. While living in a seedy boarding house, I play around with shutter speeds and lamp light, snapping arty pictures of record album covers. One day I take to the streets and capture a picture of a distinguished gentleman in a fedora, sitting on a bench. His resolute, chiseled face matches the strength of the brick wall and the lines of the bench. The next few years – my tempestuous twenties – rip by in a blur. They include unexpected single motherhood, welfare, and my camera being stolen. Having no money to buy a new camera, I go back to a focus on writing. But sometimes I flip through “art” books in bookstores. One day I buy one of “freak” shots by Diane Arbus. Another time, I splurge on the works of Georgia O’Keefe. I like the colours of Matisse, the whimsy of Chagall. I have no interest in abstract art.

J

une 2007 - Eureka! I Discover Flickr

My grown son now travels the world as a circus performer. Impossible but true! Life’s surprises – little and big – never cease to amaze me. I run a school of creative writing. One day a friend says, “That was a nice photo you posted on your blog. You should check out Flickr.” I have a few minutes to kill, so

Untitled | Jane Underwood

I google it, poke around, and something in me gets sparked. I open an account, pull my funky old point-and-shoot Olympus out of the closet and dust if off. Before I know it, I’ve become a photo-snapping maniac, taking my camera with me whenever I walk the dog; soon it is always either in my pocket or perched within arm’s length. I have no idea what I’m doing other than following an unexpected urge to take as many photos as I can. I have entered into a whole new world. I use the verbal part of my brain for writing, and the non-verbal part for photography. After a day spent hacking away at black and white words on a gray computer, it’s a relief to revert to the wordless realm of photography. I join not just one but dozens of Flickr groups with names like The Magic of Colour, Abstract Reality, Elegantly Minimal, Walls only Walls, Vacated Meaning, haphazart! I pore over thousands of photos – rapt, swept up, obsessed. I use every spare moment to take photos. What is happening to me? I have no idea. I don’t think of myself as “a photographer.” I’m just a person who takes a whole lot of photos, immersed in the joy of creative play and the pleasure of getting away from my computer. I take most of my photos while out walking the dog, Olivia (also new to my life). As a former “indoor-only” person who never really understood what all the fuss was about when it came to sunlight, I’m finding that I love feeling the weather on my face, and watching the motion of trees, and smelling the scents of eucalyptus and jasmine. Olivia whines or pulls on the leash whenever I stop to attempt a shot, but that’s okay because I like the challenge of a time limit. Best of all, though, is the fun of discovering what I want to see while in the act of seeing it. [>> p 44]

43


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

J

une 2009 - Two Years into It

I’ve been doing this photography thing for two years now. My favorite photographers can be found on my Flickr Faves page. I have no formal training in photography or the visual arts, no names of The Great Ones who were my mentors. I revel in the shock and fun of being a beginner. I don’t want to fill my head with a bunch of shoulds and how-to’s. Not yet. I just want to look around and see everything with my new “third eye.” People sometimes leave a comment on Flickr comparing a photo of mine to the work of some other photographer or painter. Usually I have no idea who they’re talking about. Thank god for the Internet. I can hop onto Google, do a search for the artist in question, and learn something. It seems I have a natural inclination to do abstracts. Not always but often. I see shape and form – geometrics – lines, angles, curves. I have the eye (or so I have been told) of a graphic designer. I’m not sure if I have a style. If I do, I don’t fully recognize it. My writer friends tell me that my photo style mimics my writing style. I guess by that they mean it’s more poetic than narrative, more condensed than expansive, more about my interior self than about you, our society or the world. I love the idea of someday “graduating” to doing portraiture, but human beings are moving targets, even if only by virtue of a facial expression or body stance, and that’s much more difficult to capture. Also, unlike human subjects, a wall, dumpster or leaf can’t see me fumbling with my camera knobs and dials! Maybe when I become more adept at camera operation, I’ll try doing more people, but for now I’m happy with my trusty Canon Powershot G9. In the meantime, there’s always post-processing! As a writer, editing is second nature to me, so I have no problem with

44

altering photos. I crop (with many thanks to my first Flickr mentor, Bruce Baycroft, for inspiring me to try more squares), I adjust colour, contrast, sharpness, exposure, highlights, shadows – all that stuff – and although I initially thought that any digital manipulation beyond the simplest tweaks was cheating, now I know how to do textures and layers (well, kinda), and can see how this enables me to do a different kind of image dance, one with even more room for alchemy. There’s no such thing as “pure” photography, as far as I can tell – just a wide spectrum of possible gradations, variations and interpretations. It makes just as much sense for digital photographers to manipulate software as it does for film photographers to manipulate film.

O

ctober 2009 - Mini-Summary to Date

Pursuing a creative life is the closest I’ve come to spirituality, whether I’m busy making a poem, a business plan, a casserole or a photograph.

way a tiny upended leaf stem arches toward a shadow. I stalk stairways and walls, gravitate toward splinters and rust, finding beauty in the breakdown. I get ecstatic and would break into a whirling frenzy if I were a dervish! Three or four times a week I take Olivia out for a walk, and in an hour or so I have usually amassed 25, 50 or a hundred photos. It’s an inefficient strategy – outrageous quantity equals occasional quality. But it works for now. I meander this way and that, walking through the conflicted sounds and scents of San Francisco – car exhaust, dog shit, jackhammer. . . ocean air, church bells, laughter – knowing that I don’t know what lies ahead even as I so carefully frame the next composition. Last but not least, I try to stay open to chance, because chance leads to the unexpected, and to the lovely thrill of surprise. Today a deliciously hot pink chalky arrow points to a manhole – another wondrous urban street hieroglyphic – and tomorrow an ugly decaying stairway is transformed by rain and the right slant of light. Chance is the wooly wild card. I adjust this tiny knob or that, and I wonder with an excitement that defies all reason how the next batch of pictures will turn out. [•]

Does being creative make me an artist? I don’t think so. I think that true artistry asks more of a person. First, it requires talent, which I believe is an innate quality that is often submerged, ignored, unharnessed or unfocused – and therefore erratic, uneven and unpredictable. Second, it requires a commitment to turning talent into something finer, something more than the occasional happy accident. This can happen through ongoing practice and devotion. When it comes to photography, I’m still in the starry-eyed throes of new love. I like trying to create “soulfulness” in my photos. On the best shooting days, I feel the interconnectedness between myself and everything around me, and that’s when I get glimpses of soul from within a sheet of shining metal, or the

.

Untitled | Jane Underwood


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

45


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

46


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

47


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

Previous pages: Shift 2 | Jane Underwood; Untitled | Jane Underwood

Untitled | Jane Underwood

48


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

Untitled | Jane Underwood

49


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

50


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

Untitled | Jane Underwood

51


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

52

Makeshift | Jane Underwood

Beside the Butcher Shop | Jane Underwood

Untitled | Jane Underwood

Untitled | Jane Underwood


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

Untitled | Jane Underwood

Untitled | Jane Underwood

Eight | Jane Underwood

Warehouse | Jane Underwood

53


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

Untitled | Jane Underwood

54


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

Untitled | Jane Underwood

55


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

Untitled | Jane Underwood

56


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

Untitled | Jane Underwood

57


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

Untitled | Jane Underwood

58


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

Untitled | Jane Underwood

59 Following pages: Untitled | Jane Underwood; Behind the Wall, Beyond the Gate | Jane Underwood


Trained in painting and sculpture, Leonie Polah makes beautifully composed photographs containing a powerfully tangible sense of space. Her urban fragments convey the feeling that whole, coherent worlds exist within the

HAPHAZART! LEONIE POLAH

frame. But she wants us to see her worlds with our own eyes, responding with our own thoughts and feelings, if her images are to become art. Here’s a question: Leonie’s indelible spaces feel interior even when shot on the street; is that some reflection of Amsterdam we are seeing, or another world altogether?

P101030050d | Leonie Polah


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

P1030415b4knt | Leonie Polah

64


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

P1040175c4knt | Leonie Polah

65


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

P1080226c4knt | Leonie Polah

66


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

P1080773a4knt | Leonie Polah

67


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

68


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

P

hotography is immenssely important to me. My background is in painting and sculpture – I majored in painting at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam – but for some time I had given up making art. Then around 2005 I became interested in photography when my partner, a news photographer, took up digital photography. When I took up photography, I felt that a part of me, which had been starving came to life again. I don’t want to make photographs that look like paintings. I have a feeling that for me, photography has more to do with sculpture than painting. My more abstract photos in particular have to do with space. I don’t mean what people call “depth,” but with creating the sense of a whole world, with its own internal logic and coherence. This is a bit like the way a story can be absurd, but still contain its own truth and logic. You know that the film Being John Malkovich can’t be true, but you believe in it because in the movie everything fits together. Of course, not all viewers will see the world I want to convey, and in the end, the meaning of the image is made by each viewer. If someone takes a picture of a crying child, naturally you will see sadness and tears, even if the photographer is not an artist. So talent is not needed to capture emotion or expression. Talent is something different and I think it plays a role in all creative processes. To me talent is not only the ability to draw, paint, play an instrument well, or to know the rules of your language perfectly if you are a writer. Talent is more. A technically perfect painting or drawing isn’t necessarily art; a technically perfect performance is not enough (think of the savant syndrome). You have to arouse a response in the viewer. The work has to evoke emotions, feelings – even if these are repulsive or disgusting. To me, being an artist means making art one’s trade, regardless of success or rewards. Needless to say, a talent that isn’t nurtured withers, and a mediocre talent can grow with practice and care.

P1080173b4knt1 | Leonie Polah

I find it strange that in this day and age there are still people who think photography is not an art. Painting is an art, but by saying that, we don’t mean all paintings. Sculpture is an art, but we don’t mean the clay figures made in an evening class. So why shouldn’t photography be an art. Of course there are numerous snapshots and would-be artistic photos, but this doesn’t imply that photography cannot be called art. To me a work of art is an end product. The means by which an artwork is achieved, changes with the times. When a new medium is invented and used to create art, people have always been reluctant to accept it. So photography too took its time to establish its place among the arts. Strangely enough, conceptual art, performance art, video art, even computer art have been more readily accepted as visual art forms. Some people see art as a process, and consider the making of a painting or other artwork the key to artistry. As said, I do not. We have come a long way since the cave drawings of Lascaux. But for me, the differences between those drawings and art made with the present technology, are not so very important. What matters is the final work itself, becoming art when it is viewed. Whether my style has changed in the past years, is more for others to say, but I think it has. To me that has to do with practice and with a deeper knowledge of photography. Also the kind of camera you own (use), figures into it. When I switched from an ordinary digital camera to a digital SLR camera, I noticed that I began to make different photographs. As my Canon SLR has more possibilities, is clearer and sharper, I tend to approach other subjects, or maybe the same subjects from another angle. For instance making a good depth of field with my old Panasonic was rather difficult. With the SLR it is much easier. I am not saying here that one makes better pictures with a more expensive camera. But some technical aspects are more easily achieved. [>> p 70]

69


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

I don’t want my photos to be completely abstract- in a sense that they only represent emotion or composition. I want a line, however, small, to the real world. But I don’t really know why I want it. One could say that I stand in the middle: in between pure abstraction and figurative, with a tendency towards the figurative.

Though I have my camera set on manual mode so as to have more control, I am not a very technical photographer. I took a course on analogue (film) photography in art school, but I was and am too impatient for film. My partner is the real photographer and I learn a lot from him. I’d say I am a photo-artist.

As to cropping in general: cropping or not cropping is just an artist’s choice; it is neither good nor bad. Actually, digital processing is a blessing in a way. You can try out various possibilities you think may work, without losing a negative. The trouble with digital manipulation is, however, that most people use it without knowing much about it, or about visual possibilities. You have to know what you are doing (and why), and it certainly isn’t as easy as it looks. I do use post processing, but often enough I just enhance or adjust the contrast. And of course straighten the picture. Isn’t that a fantastic find! At this point I feel like saying that – to me – making art is not a science, I just go with the flow, with what I like best, or sometimes in a series, what makes the best sequence.

The square format always has had my preference, even at the academy, so I usually have the square format in the back of my head. That was easier when I used a Panasonic Lumix DMC-8FZ compact camera. I could shoot in a 4:3 ratio with it, which I think is a very nice size. From there, it is easy to go to a square. Now I usually shoot with my SLR camera, which does not have the 4:3 option. I absolutely don’t like the 3:2 format, but haven’t found a satisfactory solution yet.

Black and white photography has an air of sophistication about it somehow. It has also a higher degree of abstraction, since we see in colour. But I find colour photography more challenging, because you don’t just have form, light and dark and the various tones to reckon with, but also the colours. Colour can distract from what you wanted to show, so you have to find a way to integrate the colours in the image. If the shot doesn’t do it, I use post-processing.

Cropping is ok. It has always been done, even with paintings. I would like to emphasize that the final image or object is the important thing, not how one arrives at it. The same thing applies to dodge and burn etc, which has to do with skill. I suppose that with the Panasonic 4:3 ratio I very often use ‘in camera’ cropping. Though that is – for me – more a rough concept. The exact cropping is done on the computer. In actual practice it is never so clear-cut. Sometimes the photograph isn’t suitable for cropping. I then add black borders above and below

I don’t think that I use some colours more than others, but I seldom use pastel colours and I do not use yellow or orange tones a lot. I know colours have an emotional reference, but I don’t – usually – use colour for that purpose. I may change a colour, because I think the image will improve. From what I hear, people often experience my pictures as dark, moody or sad. This may be (I know it is) something fundamental in my character or experience. However, I don’t intentionally photograph this way in order to arouse emotion [>> p 81]

The German artist, Max Beckmann, said: “What I want to show in my work is the idea which hides itself behind so-called reality. I am seeking for the bridge, which leans from the visible to the invisible through reality. It may sound paradoxical but it is in fact reality which forms the mystery of our existence.”

70

the rectangular image to make it square. I think I do this because I am not really a photographer as such. I visualize the images rather big on a wall (the painter in me) and not as a photograph on the table or in a magazine or book.

P1060693b4knt | Leonie Polah


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

71


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

P1080245a | Leonie Polah

72


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

P1040732a4knt | Leonie Polah

73


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

P1040292a4knt | Leonie Polah

74


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

P1100193a4knt | Leonie Polah

75


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

P1090048a4knt | Leonie Polah

76

P1090758b4knt | Leonie Polah


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

P1040080b4knt | Leonie Polah

77


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

P1090471c4knt | Leonie Polah

78


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

P1020783b4knt | Leonie Polah

79


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

80


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

in the viewer. I read somewhere: “Art doesn’t express emotion; it arouses emotion in the observer.” This rings true to me. When I look through the camera lens, I just see lines, colours and composition, I am not an emotional photographer during either photographing or post-processing. I am just working on a photograph. I may want the viewer to have an emotion. Here I suppose transcendence comes in. There is no particular time of day I prefer to shoot, but somehow I need sunlight and shadow. In Holland the weather is often grayish and some people take beautiful pictures in it. I can’t. I like dark and I like contrast, so I always set my camera some stops darker than necessary. I have had my share of creative blocks, and no doubt there are more to come. I deal with it by just muddling through, working on, setting goals for myself, and hoping it will pass. There are many artists whom I admire, both from the past, present and from flickr. What I find important is not so much the style in which someone works (for instance figurative or abstract), but whether he or she is effective (some people might say ‘convincing’ here) in what they are trying to achieve. Of course that doesn’t mean I have no preferences or dislikes. I like the expressionists better that the surrealists; and prefer Arte Povera over Popart, Johannes Vermeer over Rembrandt, and I’d rather have a photo by Robert Capa than one by Henri CartierBresson. Most of the photographers that influence(d) or inspire(d) me may not be known to a lot of readers, and I didn’t mention any flickr members because there are so many good photographers here, all of whom I admire for various reasons. But there are, for instance, some contemporary photographers I like: Rineke Dijkstra made me realize that in photography too, there is a difference between seeing the image reproduced, or seeing

P1050500e4knt | Leonie Polah

the real thing in the size the artist had intended. Before, I thought this was only true for painting and sculpture (the skin and the space). [www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/dijkstra_rineke.html] In Michael Wolf’s series ‘architecture of density’ from Hong Kong, I like that I see a unity, or a pattern if you will, but yet it consists of a lot of “scenes.” Somehow I connect his work with Andreas Gursky, but I find Wolf’s work more subtle and interesting. [www.kochgallery.com/artists/contemporary/Wolf/index.html] As you can see, these artists do not influence me directly. Rineke Dijkstra only photographs humans, which I seldom do. But they are good and I learn from them. Sometimes it is quite surprising to hear reactions about your own work, because the spectator sees worlds in it I didn’t envisage when making the image, or see even the opposite of what I intended to show. But as I am a viewer of images, as well as a maker of images, I know that an interpretation of any work is always very personal. In general I find my inspiration in the street, on the internet, and on flickr, plus the occasional art exhibit. I usually walk about Amsterdam and take pictures. I seldom go out without my camera. There are several places where I do go especially to take photographs. Sometimes these images become a series, either shot in one take or on different days. When the light is not right for me, I come back another day or at another hour. I like sets or series of images, so sometimes I go out to look for shots based on the weekly haphazard theme, but more often I set a theme for myself, or continue with a subject I have been working on before. Although I often do have a general idea about what I would like to shoot, there is always room for chance, luck, and coincidence. No photographer can do without them, I think. [•]

81


NOVEMBER 2009 |pages: HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY Previous P1080780c4knt | Leonie Polah;ABSTRACTS P1080440c4knt | Leonie Polah

P1090136a4knt | Leonie Polah

84


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

P1090161b4knt | Leonie Polah

P1040286b4knt | Leonie Polah

85


P1050392a4knt | Leonie Polah

P1040708c4knt | Leonie Polah

P1080425c4knt | Leonie Polah

P1030977a4knt | Leonie Polah


P1090344a4knt | Leonie Polah

P1090345a4knt | Leonie Polah

P1050476e4knt | Leonie Polah

P1050478a4kntP | Leonie Polah


P1090344a4knt | Leonie Polah


The very first weekly theme explored at haphazart! in January 2007 was “Red.” Since then we have regularly gone out in pursuit of colour themes including blue, yellow, green, white, black, pink – even “monochrome [splash of color]” and “mood indigo.” For this issue the

HAPHAZART! COLOUR

editors trawled through our archive, focusing on photographers who often work in square format, and came up with hundreds of exemplary images. After many conversations (and much virtual Guinness), 42 images were selected that represent a spectrum of colour and urban abstraction. All the artists chosen were given an opportunity to talk about how they work with colour. Some responded with texts. Others let their colours do the talking.


Squared Up 4 Suzi Moon :-) | Mike Lusk


yellow diagonal | Katerina Papandreou

four dots | Katerina Papandreou

green geometries | Katerina Papandreou some don’t like yellow | Katerina Papandreou


333 and Sky | Carl Lukasewich


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

94

All images: Untitled | Mike Lusk


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

95


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

navel 96 | Robert Wallace


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

orange two | Katerina Papandreou 97


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

Undeplus replacement pic

NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#6 | Ashley Holmes

98


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

scribbleClick [Michael Cogan]: Happy chance, or serendipity/synchronicity, is a central component of my photography. Rarely do I set out with a particular shot in mind.This image [Indigo Moon, page 119] comes from a set of abandoned drawers in a laneway behind the home of a friend I was visiting.The drawers contained an assemblage of old art materials inlcuding the dried violet/indigo paint circle and the word “Moon”. I did not change a single element of the scene as it existed. Haphazart! had a theme that week of circle and I took the shot thinking it might make an interesting addition.The

colour, light and shadow as well as aptness for the theme and the wonderful coincidence of the text caught my attention. Later a haphazart! indigo theme gave me the title. In so far as colour adjustments, I alter highlight/shadow in picasa3 and will often use a little colour temperature adjustment by eye on my own uncalibrated screen. It seems to work ok so I have not changed my procedures. Any major saturation/desaturation I call photographic art, rather than photography, and do not post to haphazart!

active metabolite [Jim Unterschultz]: The flickr family collectively has been a very strong influence on me. I’m so impressed with all the talent and creativity out there. I appreciate the abstract work of both DraMan and spezoid. Perhaps on some level they gave me permission to break the rules. My appreciation for colour takes place both at the time of capture and in post-processing.While it’s not always possible, I try to capture images in early or late-day light. That quality of light cannot be drawn out with software. Software however certainly can enhance good digital material. I depend on Capture One and Photoshop CS4 for at least 50% of a creative outcome. I’m drawn to all colours of the palette. All hues are visually delicious. Sometimes I like working with unusual colours

or hues not typically associated with a scene, such as a pink sky or green snow.There aren’t any rules are there? I don’t believe I make conscious associations with specific colours, although it must be happening on some level. I enjoy the unexpected and the element of surprise. Sometimes I work with colour to achieve that end. Colourful party balloons finished in sepia tones would be an example of this. Chance plays a fairly significant role in my approach to image-making - probably 50%. I’m quite new to both photography and graphic art.With more experience and technical skill I’m confident I’ll be able to control outcomes more.

w.eras [Wilma Eras]: I like natural colours and I love nature, so green is a colour that is often present in my images. But in fact blue is my favourite colour! Blue for water, sky, freedom. Green for silence and rest. I have hardly ever taken a picture with

pink or purple colours, yellow is rare, sometimes I use red for an accent. I hardly post-process my images. Any decisions concerning colour are made at the time of capture.

99


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

Jahina [Andrea Kennard]: ...have to admit, I don’t approach things with an academic mind nor can I usually say why I would ever take a shot. I usually just see something, like it, shoot it. If it works, great, if it doesn’t, I move on! I would say that my shots are all made up of 90% chance. I don’t go out with a set agenda, as such; I might go out to specific places with the view to take shots of certain things. For instance, I might decide to go into Central London with the idea to take shots of buildings. But 9/10 I find all sorts of other things to distract me from that plan. Particularly in London where anything can happen at any time. Colour is important and if something colourful takes my eye I will shoot it regardless of what it is. Sometimes the

colour is more important than the item you are shooting. I do post process a little. I do sometimes use the saturation tool, but just a tad. Other times, though, I turn a shot to black and white or to sepia because the subject matter requires that. I love complimentary colours, that is, a shot that is green but has a red splash in it, or blue with a yellow splash. But I also love blended colours, a lot of different pinks or blues that blend delicately into greens. Colour just works together well no matter which colours they are .

seldon [Seldon Scott]: I was first inspired to try photography after moving to Morecambe, a small seaside resort in north west England. The evening light here can be especially beautiful and occasionally dramatic. Chance plays a big role in my choice of subjects. Usually it’s the quality of natural light that inspires me to pick the camera up, rarely do I set out with a particular shot or subject in mind. I never take a photo with an idea of what post processing might add. It’s the image I see at the time of capture that’s important to me and any work afterwards is only to help realise that image. I use the camera’s bundled software for sharpening, cropping and perhaps some brightness or contrast adjustments but that’s all.The art of Photoshop is a mystery to me. Reds and blues and their hues and shades seem to make up a large part of my palette. I love the power and passion of red and orange and always enjoy the way that blues and

100

greys can cool and temper that power. I don’t have any strong dislikes about particular colours or combinations. JMW Turner’s use of colour has always held an attraction for me. He visited this area as a young artist and must have been influenced by the light here.The vibrancy of colour in paintings such as Fighting Temeraire and Slaveship really appeal and inform this and many of my images [see T p112]. I am a Rothko fan too. I didn’t have it in mind at the time but the bold colour of his No. 14, 1960 seems an obvious influence when I look again at this photo. There was a spectacularly colourful sunset happening behind these plain white blinds.The light and colours here are all natural. Perhaps this image could best be described as an abstract sunset, all of the colour but without any skies, clouds or sun. I like the idea that a sunset, one of the most ubiquitous and derided of flickr snapshot subjects can be used in an original and artistic way.

Carnaval Colours 2 | Andrea Kennard


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

101


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

torrent, clasped | Robert Wallace 102


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

Untitled | Mike Lusk 103


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

Distortion 1 | Wilma Eras 104


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

P1050092a4kant | Leonie Polah

victJUL09039 | Krystina Stimakovits

Untitled | Annemie Hiele

105


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

Pathé | Marja van Bochove 106


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

my.third.eye [Jane Underwood]: It has never occurred to me to attempt to talk about colours, except maybe when I’m trying to decorate a room or pick out something to wear.To talk about a colour simply for the sake of talking about it...? I don’t know. It’s like trying to talk about music; I know people do it, but I’d rather just listen. Sometimes my choice of colours is influenced by music. I think that colours and music can flow together in an interestingly synchronistic way.When I am out walking and shooting, sometimes I am also listening to music on my ipod. Or when I am home post-processing, I might immerse myself in music that feels right for the photo (this could take some experimentation).The intersection between music and colours can be a lovely thing. I am probably, at least initially, more moved and inspired by colours than by shapes or scenes.Then again, it’s hard to separate these things. It’s really all about capturing a serendipitous coalescing (or collision!) of colours, shapes, textures, and light. I gravitate to warmer colour palettes – the reds and yellows – rather than the cooler blues and greens. I’m not fond of photos that emphasize combinations of pure primary colours, at least not without secondary colours to offset them. I think Mondrian’s blue/red/ yellow combinations are ugly. For the most part I also stay away from pastel combos such as powder blue and pink, although occasionally a pile of pastel leaves on the ground

will appeal to me. I do dearly love to look at pleasing colour combinations. I love “finding” them by accident, and I love creating them on purpose (either at capture or during post-processing). Either way, I derive great pleasure (aesthetic and emotional) from looking at beautiful colour combinations. Like everyone else (?), I associate colours with moods and feelings – joy, passion, melancholy, anger, eroticism, dark, light, introversion, extroversion, whimsicality, seriousness.... and with all the senses other than sight - taste, touch, smell, sound, motion.... Yellow and Red (and all their variations...creams, oranges, golds, crimsons...) are emotional and sensual. I associate them with warmth, extroversion, friendliness, boldness, passion, joy, comfort Green and Blue (and purples, violets, aquas...) - are somehow mental and abstract. Emotively they evoke coolness, introversion, aloofness, softness, relaxation, serenity, melancholy Every profoundly important thing that I have ever experienced in life was unexpected and stemmed mostly from chance. Without chance, life – which for me now includes photography – would be so much less thrilling. If you can keep your mind open to chance, to the element of surprise – even though you feel a pull toward the safety of plans, rules and regulations – everything is so much better!

CarlCarl [Carl Lukasewich]: Chance plays a huge role in a lot of my images. For the

photo. For example, the image 333 and Sky [see page 93]

most part, what I see through the camera’s viewfinder

was originally a cityscape. I found it uninteresting once I

will not be the final image. Once I download my images

downloaded it, so I zoomed and cropped until I liked it. I

I usually see things I didn’t see when I took the original

think that’s chance!

107


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

casually, krystina [krystina stimakovits]: Colour alone, is rarely a sufficient magnet, there has to be something else going on, some formal or geometric configuration however subtle or obscured. It is that configuration that forms the structure of the image without which it simply dissipates. Sometimes if the colours are too vivid or too many fighting for attention, they get in the way of appreciating the underlying forms, then I will de-saturate or I may decide to convert the image to the purity of a monochrome/ black and white. I very rarely saturate colours, then only to highlight a small aspect within an image to give it greater punch. Generally, I like to leave saturation and manipulation of colours to the painters.

time. But green can be tricky when combining it with other colours. I am fond of many if not all hues of green.

I do have favourite combination of colours, but they are too many to mention, and also those favourite combinations depend largely to the exact range of tones involved, i.e. particular tones of lemony or saffron yellows with burgundy reds or purple, etc. Generally I don’t like the combination of primary red with primary blue, a combination that is unfortunately quite common in the UK, where I live.

I cannot see a red image without thinking of all those works Rothko dedicated to this colour in all its variations.

YELLOW: Yellow is a very interesting colour.The associations I have with it change dramatically with the particular hue it appears in. Some dark and musky yellows can have unpleasant associations, golden yellows evoke sunshine and warmth, lighter yellows spring and lighter ones even reach into spiritual realms.

BLUE: I am not keen on primary or dark blue on its own. It reminds me too much of school uniforms. But there are many hues of blues which one associates with the sea, the skies…with summer lightness at one end of the spectrum and deep, deep mysterious pools on the other. RED: Red is undoubtedly the strongest and emotionally most powerfully evocative colour. Like most people, I associate it with passion, blood, danger, fire, heat and vitality. Personally, I am particularly fond of reds that move into orange, also rusty and rich deep burgundy reds.

I used to have an aversion to pink. Strangely that aversion is slowly disappearing, it must have something to do with age :-) Without chance and serendipity, photography would be a joyless exercise for me. My works do not follow concepts, the concepts follow my works in the sense that these emerge only after I have analysed and reflected on a body of work produced over a period of time. Once I have become aware of these I may continue to explore those themes more consciously, but secretly I’m always hoping that something unexpected will entice me away into new territories.

GREEN: Green is a soothing colour, apparently it is the best colour for the eye, it calms and refreshes at the same

108

in the red III | Krystina Stimakovits


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

Urban Alchemy | Csaba Molnรกr

110


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

Untitled | Geoff Wood

111


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

“I found I could say things with colours that I couldn’t say in any other way – things that I had no words for.” Georgia O’Keeffe

“Colour which, like music, is a matter of vibrations, reaches what is most general and therefore most indefinable in nature: its inner power...”

T | Seldon Scott

Paul Gauguin

“There is no criterion by which to recognise what is a colour, except that it is one of ‘our’ colours.” Ludwig Wittgenstein

“Colour is the place where our brain and the universe meet.” Paul Klee Untitled | Annemie Hiele

112


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

Hip Squares | Jim Unterschultz

Untitled | Jane Underwood

Untitled | Jane Underwood

despite appearances, I wasn’t always present | Kate Mellersh

113


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

fishing at the bottom of the sea | Hercules Kougemitros

114


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

Vanishing Points | N. Nirvana Geuvdjelian Herrera

115


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

116

Antarctica | Dalibor Levícek

Octopus | Dalibor Levícek

Deep space | Dalibor Levícek

Near miss |Dalibor Levícek


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

“Colour is, on the evidence of language alone, very bound up with the feelings.” Joanna Field

“We never really perceive what colour is physically.” Joseph Albers

Fishing | Dalibor Levícek

“Colour is the fruit of life.” Guillaume Apollinaire

“There are connoisseurs of blue just as there are connoisseurs of wine.” Colette

“Only those who love colour are admitted to its beauty and immanent presence. It affords utility to all, but unveils its deeper mysteries only to its devotees.” Johannes Itten Her red ghost | Dalibor Levícek

117


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

Glow In Field Of Blue | Mike Lusk 118


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

Indigo Moon | Michael Cogan 119


NOVEMBER 2009 | HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS

120 paramecium | Christian Kinzler


HAPHAZART! CONTEMPORARY ABSTRACTS | NOVEMBER 2009

ARTISTS Images in this magazine have been reproduced by kind permission of the following artists: Michael Cogan flickr name: scribbleClick e-mail: coganm8@gmail.com/ Wilma Eras flickr name: w.eras e-mail: w.eras@hetnet.nl N. Nirvana Geuvdjelian Herrera flickr name: Nirvana SQ Annemie Hiele flickr name: akiruna e-mail: akiruna@wanadoo.nl web: annemiehiele.nl/ Ashley Holmes flickr name: linkwize e-mail: a.holmes@cqu.edu.au Andrea Kennard flickr name: Jahina email: jahina@blueyonder.co.uk web: jahina-photography.webs.com web: jahina-photography.co.uk

Dalibor LevĂ­cek flickr name: daliborlev e-mail: daliborlev@gmail.com

Jim Unterschultz flickr name: active metabolite e-mail: activemetabolite@yahoo.com

Carl Lukasewich flickr name: Carl Carl web: www.carlsville.com

Marja van Bochove flickr name: on1stsite email: mvbochove@bowart.nl

Mike Lusk flickr name: Finsmal e-mail: finsml@gmail.com

Robert Wallace flickr name: Rober in Toronto email: rwallace2110@rogers.com

Kate Mellersh flickr name: Kate Mellersh email: kate.mellersh@ntlworld.com

Geoff Wood flickr name: lolo~AQIC ! email: geoffwood@onetel.com

J Neuberger flickr name: jneuberger e-mail: neuberger@mail.utexas.edu Katerina Papandreou flickr name: KatPi e-mail: kpapandreou@yahoo.gr Leonie Polah flickr name: polah2006 e-mail: polah@hetnet.nl Seldon Scott flickr name: Seldon, e-mail: seldonscott@hotmail.com

Christian Kinzler flickr name: tossthecam e-mail: tossthecam@yahoo.de

Krystina Stimakovits flickr name: casually, krystina email: krystina@stima.fsnet.co.uk

Hercules Kougemitros flickr name:htakat e-mail:iraklisk@yahoo.gr

Jane Underwood flickr name: my.third.eye e-mail: jane@writingsalons.com

121


IMAGE INDEX Covers J Neuberger Front Untitled Back Untitled Featured artist Ashley Holmes 07 EvidentEntropy02 08 NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#61 09 NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#60 10 Inverse question and its inverse 11 CrackingFifty 12 BasketCase 15 SymbolicViolence (Homage to Pierre Bourdieu) 16 PinkPackage 17 TwoColourCarton 18 NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#48 19 ApproachingLow3 20 TateWindows 21 NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#58 22 NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#42 23 HiKi 24 NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#34 25 NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#58 26 A selection from the Synapsecity series 28 OldBurnouts#4 29 BlueCircle 29 CyanEllipseCracked 30 Of/fSymmetry#2 31 NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#4 32 NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#13 33 NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#3 34 NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#56 35 NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#25 Featured artist Jane Underwood 37 Dumpster Beauty #6 38 The Shape of Things 39 At My Feet

40 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 52 52 52 53 53 53 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61

Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Shift 2 Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Makeshift Beside the Butcher Shop Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Eight Warehouse Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Behind the Wall, Beyond the Gate

Featured artist Leonie Polah 63 P101030050d 64 P1030415b4knt 65 P1040175c4knt 66 P1080226c4knt 67 P1080773a4knt 68 P1080173b4knt1 71 P1060693b4knt 72 P1080245a 73 P1040732a4knt 74 P1040292a4knt 75 P1100193a4knt 76 P1090048a4knt 76 P1090758b4knt 77 P1040080b4knt 78 P1090471c4knt

79 80 82 83 84 85 85 86 86 86 86 87 87 87 87 88

P1020783b4knt P1050500e4knt P1080780c4knt P1080440c4knt P1090136a4knt P1090161b4knt P1040286b4knt P1050392a4knt P1040708c4knt P1080425c4knt P1030977a4knt P1090344a4knt P1090345a4knt P1050476e4knt P1050478a4kntP P1090344a4knt

haphazart! Colour Mike Lusk 91 Squared Up 4 Suzi Moon :-) Katerina Papandreou 92 yellow diagonal 92 four dots 92 green geometries 92 some don’t like yellow Carl Lukasewich 93 333 and Sky Mike Lusk 94 Untitled 95 Untitled Robert Wallace 96 navel Katerina Papandreou 97 orange two Ashley Holmes 98 NoThingToSeeNothingToSay#6 Andrea Kennard 101 Carnaval Colours 2 Robert Wallace 102 torrent, clasped Mike Lusk 103 Untitled Wilma Eras 104 Distortion 1

Leonie Polah 105 P1050092a4kant Krystina Stimakovits 105 victJUL09039 Annemie Hiele 105 Untitled Marja van Bochove 106 Pathé Krystina Stimakovits 109 in the red III Csaba Molnár 110 Urban Alchemy Geoff Wood 111 Untitled Seldon Scott 112 T Annemie Hiele 112 Untitled Jim Unterschultz 113 Hip Squares Jane Underwood 113 Untitled 113 Untitled Kate Mellersh 113 despite appearances, I wasn’t always present Hercules Kougemitros 114 fishing at the bottom of the sea N. Nirvana Geuvdjelian Herrera 115 Vanishing Points Dalibor Levícek 116 Antarctica 116 Octopus 116 Deep space 116 Near miss 117 Fishing 117 Her red ghost Mike Lusk 118 Glow In Field Of Blue Michael Cogan 119 Indigo Moon Christian Kinzler 120 paramecium


HAPHAZART!

2

Images in this magazine have been reproduced with the kind permission of the following artists. Michael Cogan Wilma Eras N. Nirvana Geuvdjelian Herrera Annemie Hiele Ashley Holmes Andrea Kennard Christian Kinzler Hercules Kougemitros Dalibor LevĂ­cek Mike Lusk Kate Mellersh Csaba MolnĂĄr J Neuberger Katerina Papandreou Leonie Polah Seldon Scott Krystina Stimakovits Marja van Bochove Robert Wallace Geoff Wood Jane Underwood Jim Unterschultz

Front and rear cover images | Untitled | J. Neuberger

HAPHAZART! Issue 02 | November 2009  

ISSN 1837-6657 Welcome to the second issue of HAPHAZART! - a magazine for and by the haphazart! Contemporary Abstracts group on flickr. [Err...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you