"Colour is the essence of painting, which the subject always killed." - Kasimir Malevich
I have always been attracted by abstract art, as the son of a scientist, and with a scientific education myself, I think it was perhaps liberating to explore a subject where there is no such thing as the "correct" answer. That is true of all art of course, but the dominance of subjectivity is perhaps at its highest in abstract composition. That is not to say that abstract art has not operated under its own constructed frameworks many times, but it is precisely the idea of ultimate freedom within a set of boundaries that I find relevant to the topic of abstraction within photography.
The very definition of abstraction I'm sure can be debated ad infinitum; to me it is quite simply where the artist consciously and deliberately rejects the idea of expressing his artistic vision through a rendition or representation of physical reality. Enter the photographer. The journey starts uphill for us; we are inherently at an immediate disadvantage in tackling abstraction because we operate an instrument that was designed to accurately represent the reality outside of it. Whereas a painter starting with a blank canvas is in all cases forced to create something from within whilst starting with nothing that is pre existing on the canvas, a photographer must work hard to deconstruct the subject in front of the lens and devoid it of its original real world meaning. We do have tools to distort the reality in front of the lens though, and it is the masterful and creative use of these tools that I admire in the work of all the photographers in my selection today. I hope you enjoy the show.