The Photographic Otherworld

Ballardian - Gavin Brick

Ballardian

For Gavin Brick, photography is not a career choice. It’s not an optional hobby. It’s in his very soul, and it shows. The way he talks about it like a close friend, the way he suddenly spots a shot and, oblivious to the rest of the world, jumps up to capture it. Like the painter who knocks out beautiful watercolors in 15 mins, Gavin has an instinctive ability to take a photo, slightly modify it and show you a stunning finished version in 5 mins flat. Me? I’d have taken 300 photos, expecting to get perhaps 10 good ones at the end. Having been taught on film, Gavin works with the mindset of frugality – no waste. Each shot is the shot. Much of this must be down to self confidence; belief in your own ability to have got it right first-time, trust in your instinct. However, although his confidence has been dramatically boosted by the overwhelmingly positive reaction to his inaugural exhibition, he was initially dubious about exhibiting; “why would anyone want to see my photographs?”.

The reason why is all too clear. Focusing mainly on architectural photography Gavin captures not just buildings but moments. His works add personality to every structure he shoots, creating features from certain elements and pronouncing the conditions of the moment. Looking at them you can’t help but imagine yourself there, at that instant. But not just an everyday instant. Somehow the images are imbued with drama; whether it be calmly sinister as in Brutal Ardour, or emphatically hyperactive like Turbine. Either way you sense a story behind the lens. In The Blue Hour the station seems to me at half-light, a clandestine meeting perhaps, or a final look outwards before an escape into the underground.

The Blue Hour

The Blue Hour

Although having learnt film photography originally, Gavin has embraced the technological revolution with open arms. Assuming from the quality, tone and texture that the photographs exude, that his weapon of choice is an obscure and expert piece, I hastened to ask him what camera he uses. Expecting a long technical explanation, and wondering whether to grab a pen and note it down, he casually replied with just one word; IPad. Ok…, I countered, which software do you use? Standard Windows editing. Proof indeed that pricey equipment does not a true photographer make.

Gavin’s creative streak is not restricted to photography, or even the visual image. His other passion is experimental electronic music. These works, which explore the musical medium without relying on traditional structure, blur the border between music and sound art, creating a crossover point at which the visual can become present. The link between art and music has been explored by many artists, the most well-known to me being Kandinsky, whose colorful abstract works were often created whilst listening to music, in an attempt to visualise the sensory experience generated. Although Gavin doesn’t specifically incorporate visuals into his music I would hasten to say there is an inherent musicality to his photography. The dystopian “hyper-reality” of the images exploits the relationship between contrast and colour. It creates a sense of futuristic unreality, much like synthesizer music, tying in with the essence of ‘otherworldly’ness.

In short, Gavin’s photography is more than worth looking into. Printed on metallic paper to emphasise the ‘alien’ intonation, they looked utterly delicious hanging in Muxima in Bow. Having just had his first exhibition go so well I have no doubt there will soon be a follow up. As he told me himself: ‘I have 20 years worth of this stuff’; and we can’t wait to see it.

Blocks on Blocks

Blocks on Blocks

Turbine

Brutal Ardour

Zizkov

Russalka

Russalka

Barcelona

Barcelona

Decadence

Decadence

Gavin’s photography can be viewed at http://www.500px.com/giddygavin

Muxima are showing a retrospective of featured artists 2012- 2013, which includes a couple of new pieces by Gavin. It runs from today for three weeks. See the website for more details.

His music is released under the name LOGAN 5 and is available from http://www.logan5.bandcamp.com

 
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2 comments
  1. Mandy said:

    Isn’t it crazy how talented people like this are sometimes multi talented? Photography and electronic music, it sounds like a good match given the somewhat surreal feel of his photos.

    It used to take me so long to draw up blog posts that I began limiting myself in terms of how many photos I could take. By limiting myself to ten photos in a whole day, I really have to think about what I’m trying to say and how I’m going to compose it. Of course, I do have relapses from time to time!

    • I just cant do it! I admire those who can. I have to take hundreds and sift through them afterwards, but then I love that process too. However, you’re right, it takes so long! That’s why I only barely manage one post a week 😉

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