Meditative and healing worlds
Each of these images and videos was made in a multi-layered process. Some taking moments, some taking years.
From my earliest days of taking photos I discovered the power of computers to edit and alter images.
At age thirteen I used the tools made available by Corel to (what I thought) was comic and fascinating effect. I altered images of my own and my family's faces, adding features and changing shapes.
After leaving the family home and moving to London I took on photography in a huge way! And also editing. I received Photoshop Elements with a printer I bought and spent many hours altering the colours of photos I had taken. Many of which were photos of myself taken in the lighting booth at the Savoy Theatre.
I also gradually played with the light trail photos, which you can see on the Light Fantastic page of this website. Mainly this was changing the colours and cropping. But eventually I learned the power of mirroring. And one of the images most prominent in my mind and in my life is from this time. It is a picture of Waterloo Bridge in London. It was taken with a long exposure and purposeful camera movement. And then coloured and mirrored on two axes.
To me this image had a whole life of its own. As if it itself were the image I had created and the photo of the bridge a somewhat disconnected and distant memory.
Each quarter of the edited picture (left) is a colour shifted reflection of the original (right)
The scope for creativity with images broadened for me immensely at that point and over the following fifteen years I played with it more and more. I explored what was possible within photoshop. I added twists and turns, tried out blurs and textures, added layers of colours, merged images, rotated, mirrored, cropped. The resulting bright colourful pictures became more and more abstract, at least at first. But then eventually shape and form began to emerge. This really took off in 2016-2020 and a huge array of fantastical shapes and colours has grown.
I have no doubt there is much more I can discover that I am yet unaware of in Photoshop, and there are other programmes out there. Not to mention physical printing effects and other things I can do to create and edit images in the physical world.
The images I've made so far I'm sure are the tip of an ice berg!
I call the series Kaleidoscope because the pictures have some elements they share with handheld kaleidoscopes I have seen. In those, a collection of beads or coloured glass or plastic are placed in a transparent sealed section at the end of a tube. There are mirrors arranged within the tube and light can pass through this sealed section (and the coloured items) bounce off the mirrors and enter our eyes at the other end. Rotating the kaleidoscope gently produces and endless variety of stunning shapes and colours as the beads move and their relative positions with the mirrors alter. No matter how often one is to look through this special tool, one will likely ever see the same image twice. And the starting pieces are so minimal and absolutely fixed.
With the kaleidoscope there is one tube and one set of beads. These do not alter, but the images do. So it is with the pictures in this collection. I often start with a single image, perhaps a photo or a drawing, and add filters and bends and reflections to create a wide variety of resulting views.