I have been a practising artist for over 2 decades, exploring and developing various relationships between time, space, light and mind. I also have a background in science, and often incorporate aspects of this into my work.
I am currently working mainly, but not exclusively in the medium of long exposure photography, moving various light sources in front of the camera lens.
The light painting images are never digitally manipulated. Rarely, tones or contrast are modified during RAW conversion, but the images produced are 'straight out of camera' (SOOC). Thus the vast majority appear as they would if shot on photographic film, but with the instant results of digital photography conferring the benefits of being able to apply a fast recursive process of reviewing, amending and repeating until the desired effect is achieved. Often, this process informs the final form, as it allows incorporation of unexpected elements into the piece being created.
Many of my light painted images contain abstract motifs. often comprised of the simple elements from which the human brain constructs complex images, such as circles, dots, spirals and zig-zags. These motifs are influenced by my study of prehistoric rock art and neuroscience, making reference to the relationship between consciousness and time, which seems appropriate given the methods employed.
Sometimes the background is but the lightforms don't exist in a way perceived with the naked eye, but are present to the 'eye' of the camera, sometimes they float in a non-existent phase-space, like a retinal afterimage.
The lightforms could be classified as ephemeral sculpture, as they are often 3D but exist only fleetingly, for as long as it takes to move the lightsource through space. They could also be classed as performance art, sometimes carefully rehearsed, almost choreographed, at other times spontaneous and expressionistic. Yet they are still paintings or drawings, and 'quality of line' is very important in the execution of a piece. One term that has been used to describe the process is 'Light Art Performance Photography', which is reasonably accurate, serving to differentiate between the more considered pieces, and the more spontaneous 'light graffiti'.
I also employ the technique known as 'refractography', by which light is manipulated in space and recorded on a camera without use of a lens. These forms have a much more organic, exploratory feel, using the camera to uncover things hidden from ordinary perception.
A series of comissioned bespoke lightpainting images for the OCG website.
Wheelchair Light painting workshops with the Mighty Alan Martin. Making creative expression accessible.
A week of many light painting workshops with the participants of The factory at the Tyneside Cinema. Lights were waved, chairs were spun and much fun was had by all.
Instalation in the alleyway next to the cinema during residency at The Factory, Tyneside Cinema.
Liminal Space re-installed in the Stephenson Works for a weekend showcasing the works of various artists and groups sponsored by NE Gen.
Workshop at Brathay Hall in Cumbria as part of a post-project evaluation weekend for collective showcase groups.
Commision to produce lightpainting and long epxposure imagery for www.michaelgrubbstudios.com
Further examples of Light Painting
A small sample of my own works from the past few years
Global collective of light painters