250MC: Macro artists

 After my talk with Anthony, he gave me a few artists to look at the delved into macro but in a different non-traditional way of things. In my previous pictures, I just went up front to the animals and took almost a portrait of them.

cropped-spider.jpg Sea snail

So instead I need to start looking at a different perspective through the lens. My older pictures were too commercially based, like they were going to be shown in a nature wildlife magazine. Rather, I need to start looking at a more artistic approach on things, especially on how they get close up and make it more interesting.

So the first person I looked at was Nadège Mériau; she is a French artist (Nadegemeriau.com 2013) who wants to “explore the possibility of creating fictional spaces that encompass the visceral and the sublime… reflecting on the interweaving of biological and creative processes” (Uk.linkedin.com n.d.)

The work that took my fancy was the Au Centre De La Terre series. A series that seems to depict another world in a different galaxy, we are transfixed by the amount of detail that has been captured. But these landscapes are in fact made from food such as bread, meat and other items (Tepper, 2012.) When you realize this, the images become very disorientated (Hemsworth, 2012) as we begin to try and get our head around this.

274(Mériau, 2011)

What I find so interesting with this work is how close and personal we get with the objects; as we aren’t told what we are looking at, we are drawn into this surreal landscape. What makes this so much more intriguing is that every one of her pictures were taken on Medium format (Pumpkins, Grottoes and Cold Allotments, n.d.) so that when it came to printing she was able to make them massive, enabling the viewer to almost be inside the image.

Looking at her images, I have begun to understand the idea of turning macro into an art; it is all about turning the little things into something that is not recognizable but is obvious that has some meaning towards it. It’s about letting the image tell a story to the viewer.
Obviously though there are some limits to this; you don’t want to make the image fully unrecognizable as then the viewer would be left confused as to what exactly you are trying to show. If we take Mériau’s work, we get the sense of this other world that we have never seen before, so we begin to make stories about this place. (second image of pumpkin here) (Mériau, 2011)
If she had zoomed in on the food instead, even though we wouldn’t know what it is, the effect wouldn’t have been as appealing I feel, nor as impressive.

Another artist who is as equally important in this idea of creating a narrative behind his pictures is David Moore with his The Commons series. He was granted entry into the commons in the early mornings and was able to photograph the unseen and overlooked areas. In this book, Moore wanted to show “how an environment can act as a metaphor for wider societal issues” (Cornerhouse.org, n.d.)
What he did was bringing the overlooked details in “razor sharp focus.” (Gavin, n.d.) In one way, you could say that Moore is showing off the evidence he has found in his three years.

One of the more interesting things that I noticed about the images are how he takes the items we commonly see in the room, and twists them into something unrecognizable for a background shot for the other items, the ones we would pass in the street and completely ignore.

138(Moore, 2002)

However I feel that the images, which focused more on the smaller, more hidden objects, produced a more powerful response compared to his other pictures such as shots of the chairs/benches. I feel like as they are seen so often, even having these close ups, they don’t trigger anything at all. Even though Moore spent 3 years in The Commons, getting to know what goes on and who sits where, we as the viewer don’t have this same connection.
As there is a lack of text when we see the picture son his website, the lack of background info makes these shots much harder to connect to. Whereas the other shots provide more context as to what is happening.

However, this doesn’t stop the pictures from looking very aesthetically pleasing though, just like Mériau’s images. However looking at the two artists, it shows to me that beginning to look at more of the story and meaning behind the images are quite important. You don’t want to say everything in one go, but you almost have to give the viewers something to let them take up the rest themselves. So really, when it comes to making the images, looking at the background info to create them is vitally important.

Hemsworth, M. (2012). Cosmic Terrain Photos Made From the Strange Architecture of Food | WIRED. [online] WIRED. Available at: http://www.wired.com/2012/09/nadege-meriau-food-caves/ [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].

Gavin, M. (n.d.). The Commons Review. 1st ed. [ebook] Available at: http://www.photoshot.com [Accessed 20 Oct. 2014].

Moore, D. (2000). Scratches caused by heels: Opposition backbenches, 26 June 2000. [image] Available at: http://davidmoore.uk.com/projects/the-commons ?imagenum=11 [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].

Mériau, N. (2011) Au Centre De La Terre II [online] available from <http://nadegemeriau.com/viewGallery?gallery=25&image=307&gt; [17 October 2014]

Mériau, N. (2011). Post Ocular, [image] Available at: http://nadegemeriau.com/viewGallery?gallery=25&image=274 [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].

Nadegemeriau.com, (2013) About – Nadège Mériau [online] available from <http://nadegemeriau.com/about&gt; [17 October 2014]

Pumpkins, Grottoes and Cold Allotments. (n.d.). 1st ed. [ebook] Available at: http://nadegemeriau.com/_uploads/article/15.pdf [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].

Tepper, R. (2012). PHOTOS: The Weird Worlds Inside Your Food. [online] The Huffington Post. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/18/nadege-meriau-inside-food_n_2322948.html [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].

Uk.linkedin.com, (n.d.) Nadege Meriau – United Kingdom | Linkedin [online] available from <http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/nadege-meriau/82/70/3b5&gt; [17 October 2014]

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