I mentioned quite a while ago in another post, that the whole point of Found Art photography, as far as I am concerned, is that I do NOTHING to the subject matter. I do no arranging or repositioning of any components. Apart from adjusting the levels and contrast in Photoshop, they are just as I find them. It's amazing what you can find if you keep your eyes open and view everything with an open mind.
There is quite a lot of crossover in the categories of this sort of artwork; One could take a photo of a small part of a tree and file it under Natural History, or Abstract Art. A photo taken in a disused factory could be placed in several categories; Urban Exploration, Found Art, Post Industrial Art or Abstract Art. It all depends on how you chose to present the image, or on what the project you are working on at the time. This is what I meant by keeping an open mind. Try to examine everything you see from as many viewpoints as possible.
O.K. Now for the photos. A note about the titles: I was told by those artists who trained me, that a good title will sell work and a boring, mundane one will put people off. At the time, I had the oppinion that the art should sell itself. I still think that, but I have seen the truth of what I was told too many times to ignore it.
The shot below is a close up of a rubbish skip which had been on fire and the paint badly scratched. This skip yielded quite a few amazing, ready made abstract paintings.
Rust Fern #2
I was in the city of Leeds, walking under a railway bridge. In the wall across the road are a set of small lights showing through a steel plate. It was a nice little art display put there to decorate a gloomy area. I took a photo of it. Looking at the result, I discovered that I had moved the camera a fraction due to the long exposure. The image was FAR better than I'd expected, all due to this happy accident.
I am a great admirer of the sculptor Sir Anthony Caro. The photograph below was taken in an abandoned plastic recycling factory and is just as I found it. It was perfect, a ready made Caro. The grass growing in the cracked concrete adds a wonderful extra dimension.
The next one is a photograph of the cliff face in Old Hunstanton, Norfolk. It bears a strong resemblance the colour field art from the 1945-1950s. The title refers to the sticks of children's sweet rock found at the seaside. My favourite rock is still peppermint!
A few years ago I became fascinated with the idea of rusty metal and flaked paint as a source of natural abstract art. I now have quite a collection of photos of this type. I have been pleasantly surprised at the positive reactions I received from people who have seem some of them There are quite a lot of artists on the Internet whth the same fascination.
Another of my favourite photographic subjects are doors and gates. I have a good selection of photos of these, some of which are truly amazing, making striking images on their own. The one below is a good example, demonstrating that less really can be more. This image is made more dynamic by taking the point of interest to one side, rather than showing the whole door.
One of my rust photos now. This was part of an iron shed rusting away in a field on the local moorland. The shed proved to be a great source of inspiration. The entire field was a gold mine of images, as the farmer had used it as a dumping ground for unwanted equipment. Again, it is remarkable how closely it resembles a certain style of art seen in galleries.
I think I'll put two more rust shots in now. These are details taken from a railway bridge which carries a small road to the town I was born in almost 67 years ago. The street I was born in was pulled down a very long time ago. Our house then faced Percy Shaw's famous Roadstuds factory, where the "Catseye Roadstuds" set in the centre and edge of roads are made. http://www.percyshawcatseyes.com/
Every Sunday afternoon in summer, he could be seen dressed in a cream coloured jacket and trousers and a straw hat, out in the field about 12 feet (6.4 metres) away from us, shooting rabbits for his tea. He had a television and crates of beer in every room and would invite his friends in to watch them.
I took the following photo at the beach in Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk. The coast of the North Sea there is 1 mile (1.6 km) from the town. You can walk to it, but there is a narrow gauge railway to take you and to bring you back. Or, there is a horse drawn cart. This has to be the nicest way to travel, (in fine weather) that I have ever had the joy of riding in. It's such a peaceful, leisurely way to be carried. Life should be lived at this pace all the time.
I like this next photo. I think we should have some of the walls around our drab modern towns painted this way to brighten things up. It was taken in the old plastics recycling factory, which had been Allens Brickworks from the 1890s before that.
The next photo was taken in the plastics factory, but was actually the wall by the fireplace, in the wages office. I'm constanly surprised by the huge amount of wonderful photographs that can be taken if one keeps one's eyes open.
This is yet another shot from the plastics factory. I've put five of them in this post, which demonstrates what a wonderful source of images it was. I was a little puzzled as to what had caused the orange marks of the floor here. Then I looked up. The roof was asbestos and steel. The steel had rusted at the point where rivets were inserted and rusty water had dripped to the floor over time, causing this lovely abstract image, and all ready to photograph!
Now another detail from an old door. It was so good a shot, I'd have been stupid not to take it. Somethings just reach out to you and beg to be photographed.
I don't want to tell you what this next one is. I feel it will remove the abstract nature of the thing for some people , (patteren for it's own sake) if I did.
The following image is a little different from the rest. Although I haven't changed the actual subjects, I've turned it in to a triptych. Well, actually it's a double triptych, as the centre panel is a triptych already.
This is the last of the shots from the plastics factory. I have a large number of photos from two disused plastics recycling plants. Both had been brickworks factories before and both were owned by the same plastics recycling company. Strangley enough, both sitse have also been on fire. As soon as I saw this image inside one of the buildings, I knew it was a winner.
Here we have a detail from a decaying tree. Trees are something of a passion for me. They are the greatest manifestation of life on Earth and keep us supplied with oxygen. I've taken a great deal of tree photos, whole trees, close-up details, young saplins, majestic, fully grown ones and decaying ones. It would be possible to devote your whole life to photographing them. A close look at a tree trunk, decaying or in good health, often shows a set of faces in it; demons, people, animals... The one bleow had what I see as a demon in it. Take a look at my very first post for some other interesting tree shots.
Now for the last photo in the post, it's another rusty paint / natural abstract painting.
As always, I hope you've enjoyed these images I'm sahring with you. I hope that some of you have perhaps found inspiration to take your cameras or sketch pads and pencils or paints out on a walk and see what you can find. All you need to do is look from an unfamiliar angle or an expanded realisation that whatever an object is, it's never JUST one thing. Any object can be many things all at the same time.
My next post in a few weeks will be on Urban Exploration.
In the meantime, have fun. Gordon.