Monday, 13 July 2015

Holly Burns - Storytelling

It is the popular belief that when you want to capture exactly what you see before you, you use a camera and if you want to create something magically impossible, you use a paintbrush. But what happens if you combine both? Trickery.

That is what a lot of my photography is about, tricking you into seeing real life that simply cannot be real life. Don’t get me wrong, I am fascinated by fantasy, but I don’t create these works simply because I can technically. Behind all of my images is a concept. I hold the story within an image much higher in regard than the execution in which it has been created. Within all art, whether it be music; painting, sculpture, photography or film, there is almost always a story attached, a concept, a theory or a visual thought process. It is these stories that make us feel connected to certain music lyrics, or book writings or artwork.

So how can we begin to tell a story?

Within writing, we are given clues in how to visualise a scenario. We might be told of beautiful white sand, a long calm stretch of turquoise water and little huts that provide some shade from the sun. We are given literal guidance to create in our minds the picture in which the author wishes us to imagine.

Photography can be the very same but in the opposite order.

We are given first the visual image and then begin to search for the story after. To do this we look for context. We are looking for the visual ‘words’ as it were to understand the story we are being told. We identify the location, the clothing, the pose, the colours, the props used and from that we build a dialogue that forms a story.

The beauty of art is that we don’t always come to the same conclusion as to what the story is. We each see the photograph or art piece and come up with a story that is based on our own experiences, making it relevant to ourselves, making it meaningful.

Holly Burns

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