Tuesday, 22 December 2009


Surrealism has been an important movement to take inspiration from as the ideas expressed by its founders and participants reflect directly to the work I am currently developing. 

Having already stated the influence of the Dadaists, with their somewhat anti-establishment aesthetic, both visually and theoretically the Surrealists are no less controversial and appropriate with their ideals.

What is of particular interest to me are the Manifestos that were released proclaiming the Surrealist movement to be a movement of the mind whereby the art created becomes a tool to aid the conception. Their use of theory, philosophy and literature is very important to the textual element of my work.

Below is part of André Breton’s first Surrealist Manifesto issued in 1924 describing the movement as aPure psychic automatism by which it is intended to express, either verbally or in writing, the true function of thought. Thought dictated in the absence of all control exerted by reason, and outside all aesthetic or moral preoccupations”

The idea that you create works that are exempt from such concerns interests me greatly. Is it possible to truly be parted from social and moral constraints or by doing this, is there an over forced confidence to the work, or honest naivety?

Nowadays can you really produce work that has “the absence of all control” well this is what I am trying to provoke through my current Photomontage series.

André Breton Quote taken from, Patrick Waldberg, Surrealism (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971), pp. 66-75.

Friday, 20 November 2009

New Photomontages

The above images from top to bottom are from the current series titled "The Photograph as Contemporary Art", all 2009 © Melinda Gibson.

They are a development from the previous works each image has been removed from the bookby Charlotte Cotton, "The Photograph as Contemporary Art" and have been sliced together, re-contextualising their authorship and originality.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

New Work

The above images “Jeff Wall, Insomnia, 2009” & “Jeff Wall, Passerby, 2009” © Melinda Gibson are a couple of my new works.

My initial starting point for this new body of work was the book by Charlotte Cotton, "The Photograph as Contemporary Art". This is an introducery text that every Photography student is given, to learn inside out. Through reading and observing the images you can never truly take part.

 The importance of the canonisation within the education system becomes apparent as the same names, images dominant our institutions. For me taking this book apart helps to question this images, far more than when they are within the constraints of a book. By slicing, cutting and de-contextualising the images you start to gain a greater appreciation of the works, start understanding why and how the these images have been created.

Monday, 5 October 2009


Further research I have undertaken to aid and inform the new collage works that I am currently putting together are the photomontages of the Dadaists. The Berlin Dadaists are of particular attention for me as described by Dawn Ades, they “used the photograph as a ready-made image, pasting it together with cuttings from newspapers and magazines, lettering and drawing to form a chaotic, explosive image, a provocative dismembering of reality.” Pg. 12-13, Photomontage, 1986.

 What is very important to me is the idea of dismembering reality through photography, using resolved images and cutting, slicing parts out then resembling those parts with other to create new images. Both Hannah Hoch’s and Raoul Hausmann’s photomontages are very useful and have given me great inspiration, but I have researched the Dadaists many times before as I am a great fan of their work.

Works above from left to right are, © Hannah Hoch "Da Dandy" 1919 and  © Raoul Hausmann "The Art Critic" 1919.

Friday, 2 October 2009

John Stezaker

I am currently putting together a collection of new works associated with the re-appropriation, authorship and canonisation of imagery in contemporary Photography books. Through the medium of collage, mixed with experimental Polaroid’s I hope to put forward new questions surrounding Institutional Education, memory and reality.

John Stezaker’s collages are fundamentally important to my new work as he uses found imagery and builds fresh and exciting works that are skillfully sliced together using two separate images. This forging of two different photographs creates a new space worth investigating.

Image above is  ©  John Stezaker, “Marriage (Film Portrait Collage) XXXI”, 2007.

Flowers Autumn Selection 2009

A collection of my Monochrome Portraits has been chosen for a group show at Flowers East opening 11th September until 10th October 2009. The show presents a collection of artists that have an experimental approach to photography including works by Julie Cockburn and Max Kandola.

Image above is  ©  Melinda Gibson, "Charlie_ Monochrome Portraits" 2009.


The Impossible Project

Finally there is hope for Polaroid.......... A collection of wonderful Scientists, inventors and previous employees of Polaroid have joined ranks to reintroduce instant film. Below is their mission, in their own words, read it, enjoy it and more importantly support it! 

"Polaroid is transforming itself from an analog Instant Film Production Company to a global Consumer Electronics and Digital Imaging company.

Production of analog Instant Film stopped in June 2008, closing the factories in Mexico (Instant Packfilm production) and the Netherlands (Instant Integral production).

Impossible b.v. has been founded with the concrete aim to re-invent and re-start production of analog INTEGRAL FILM for vintage Polaroid cameras.

Therefore Impossible b.v. has acquired the complete film production equipment in Enschede (NL) from Polaroid, has signed a 10-year lease agreement on the factory building; and has engaged the most experienced team of Integral Film experts worldwide.

The Impossible mission is NOT to re-build Polaroid Integral film but (with the help of strategic partners) to develop a new product with new characteristics, consisting of new optimised components, produced with a streamlined modern setup. An innovative and fresh analog material, sold under a new brand name that perfectly will match the global re-positioning of Integral Films."


Monday, 7 September 2009

Lamenting a Loss

Solo Show at Flowers East 15th July- 8th August 2009

Between 2008 and 2009 I have created a body of work that solely uses Instant film, primarily Polaroid in response to Polaroid announcing the closure of its factories.

These three series of work titled “Mortuary”, “Polaroid Portraits”, colorations and monochromes examine photography’s ability as a medium to offer up new ways of seeing, representing and objectifying the world in which we live.

Digitalisation has offered photography an extended life, yet through its accessibility it has become problematic and dysfunctional. Every new image can be deleted, retouched, manipulated. Moments that once captured a loss of control; accidental happenings are now lost and removed. Perfect pictures that everyday people hold dear, now dominate our modern digitalised view.  These images tell us little of the truth, the moment experienced by the sitter and photographer, instead those same shots are captured and recaptured again.

Through manipulation by hand, the works I have completed challenge the notion of reproduction. Each image is shot traditionally then the Polaroid is interrupted mid process and manipulation begins. Once set the image cannot be recaptured, altered or reproduced, it is an original.

The works challenge our ideas surrounding photographic representation; through the layering of unset chemical a portrait of a loved one or waiting room are mysteriously hidden beneath the manipulations. You as viewers are invited to unravel the information and use it to question your own preconceived ideas and images in relation to the subject.

Image shown is  ©  Melinda Gibson, "Charlie_ Colouration Portraits", 2009.

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