Introduction

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Across and Into #1 from Flow Motion

I am a visual artist with a background in archaeology and ecology.  Much of my work deals with the environment as a site of constant change that is occupied and intimately related to by the individual who lives within it. I consider this environment as simultaneously natural and cultural; as spaces we are embodied within and as places we inhabit. I am concerned with how this is can be interpreted through means of communication that include but is not necessarily limited to visual art-forms. If you can, please take time to browse this site, it contains a distillation of over two decades of practical enquiry and research.

In photography I have a background in practices ranging from commissions in recording and surveying for the heritage and environmental industries (see here for this side of my practice) to fine art interpretive constructions made with and for photographic interpretation.

From early in my arts practice I have had an interest in the interpretation of the environment as a space of actions and processes, drawing on the land art movement. Initially I made sculptures in the landscape but soon realised that these works are often seen, and in general, only communicate to an audience through the monocular apparatus of lens-based media. As such the conveyance of experiences and processes involved in making and perceiving in the environment were largely lost on those beholding the resulting images. This realisation led me to practices of construction for or with the camera, eventually leading to a philosophy of challenging the hegemonic dominance of photography as a way of visual communication, whilst still using the medium as a tool of interpretation. I am increasingly interested in how our ‘world-view’ is, at least in part, a social construction and that visually lens based media play a large part in this construction.

The recent work displayed here has come about as the result of an intense period of practice as research at Northampton University, where I was awarded a scholarship to undertake a doctorate between 2011 and 2015, which I was recently awarded. Prior to this I studied an M. A. in Documentary Photography at The Centre for Photographic Research, University of Wales, Newport (2005 – 2007). My academic studies began at the University of Sunderland, where I studied Fine Art (Sculpture and Photography) B.A.(hons) graduating in 1991.

Artworks are available to purchase, most can be printed to order within specific requirements, contact me for further details.

All text and images on this website © John Sunderland. All rights reserved