I’ve spent the past 15 years photographing cities in the morning blue hour, from which my book project “Cities at Dawn” developed.
Recently, I moved to the coast of Southern Spain and was still rising very early in the morning, but this time to be met with a view of pure simplicity and colour, not the complexity and maze-like wonder of the city, but with the simple pureness of sky and sea.
It didn’t take me but a moment to see the potential in translating the feelings I was having in the presence of nature in its simplest form – two elements of the utmost purity. Sea and sky. Yet every morning was a new view for a new day. New colours. New textures. New horizons.
I call the project Sea Meditations as, after decades of cities, this was a profound change for me.
For me, photography has always been a process of reduction – if you can make it simple then it is more improved is my belief. In this setting, by the sea, there was nothing to remove – it was just about time and its passing. Each day from the same spot I shot. No variables. Just time passing, day by day.
“Ask courageous questions. Do not be satisfied with superficial answers. Be open to wonder and at the same time subject all claims to knowledge, without exception, to critical scrutiny. Be aware of human fallibility. Cherish your species and your planet.” Carl Sagan
Emergence started out as an idea photographing materials I use for a leisure hobby while in quarantine: Using a polymer based liquid in a tank of clean water illuminated by natural light was the setup.
Psychedelia can be found in much of my work. My earliest influences was as a teenager browsing albums in the record shop. This is the place where I first discovered psychedelic album covers by Hipgnogsis, an English design group. I was so engrossed by the dreamlike album covers that I would choose albums based on the covers I liked the most. This is how I discovered bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Deep Purple. The music was pretty good too.
I like my art to carry the energy of spontaneity, to be unpredictable even to myself. This to me is true creation and the path where I experience the most satisfaction and where it is the least tread.
It is the primordial, organic nature of the work that fueled my imagination and compelled me to ask questions about life and its possibilities throughout the universe.
Life is simply any system that is capable of performing functions such as eating, metabolising, growing, reproducing, and responding to external stimuli.
What if life started on a planet millions of years ago, not a planet like ours, but within a gas giant, tens of thousands of kilometres deep in atmosphere? What if life evolved at the bottom of this atmosphere at tremendous pressures? What would this life look like? What would evolution be like for a life-form like this? Could it ever become sentient? What kind of senses would it possess?
As all life on earth is carbon based, what if life could evolve from plasma as a necessity due to extreme gravitational pressures?
What would their life experience be like: If you live beneath a thousand kilometre ocean of gases and plasma – what would your “day” be like? What is your idea of “purpose” if there are no stars in your universe?
Our imaginations are limited by our experience or the stimulus from our environment. We have the senses of smell and taste and touch and sight and even an intuition that is unnamed. Maybe it is love.
I used false colour images from NASA as my base palette as a starting point.
The images are spread over millions of years of evolution for these alien forms of life. There was even the thought of every image being a single sentient rising up up up through the dense pressure. Asking themselves- Is this all that I am?