Heather Cassils

Becoming an Image is a series of performances where Heather Cassils ‘unleashes an attack on a 2000 pound (~900kg) clay block. Delivering a series of kicks and blows in total darkness, the spectacle is illuminated only by the flash of a photographer, burning the image into the viewer’s retina.’ This was first performed in the ONE Archives in Los Angeles, the oldest active LGBTQ archive in the United States, and was originally going to be a site-specific piece. Heather Cassils began to perform this around the world, including London, Montreal and Los Angeles. The only evidence of the performance is the snapshot that provide small instant amounts of illumination, and the clay block that which Heather Cassils releases all of her energy on. This clay piece is then exhibited, in its raw form, just as the artist left it when the performance was completed.

Sources: heathercassils.comyoutube

Antony Gormley

One of Antony Gormley’s most famous pieces (except the Angel of the North) has been the room full of terracotta figures, which were created with the help of school children. This, along with the rest of his artworks, are often left in a very natural form, with rough edges and joins left visible to the viewer. Much of his work at the beginning was based around the human form, and the ways in which these can be distorted, but still be recognised as a human figure. These were mainly sculptures, however Antony Gormley also explored the medium of drawing. The sculptures has been namely metal work, and also working in softer materials such as terracotta and clay. The brutality and natural breakable form of each of these materials has given each of his works a strength, such as that humans show, but a fragility, that they can be broken as easily as we can.

Source: antonygormley.com

Rehana Zaman

When we walked into the lecture theatre, I have to admit, I was somewhat afraid that this artist talk was going to be like the CGI talk we had last term. I was pleasantly surprised to find that CGI was a very small portion of the work that Rehana Zaman does.

Rehana Zaman is an artist based in London working with moving image and performance. Her work considers the interplay of multiple social dynamics that constitute subjects along particular socio-political formations. These narrative based artworks, often deadpan and neurotic, are frequently generated through conversation and collaboration with others. Recent screenings and exhibitions include Tenderpixel, London, Artist Moving Image Festival, ICA, London, London Feminist Film Festival, Contemporary Art Tasmania, The Irish Film Institute, Dublin, The Tetley, Leeds, Studio Voltaire, The Showroom and Whitechapel Gallery, London, Projections Art Rotterdam, Konsthalle C, Stockholm and Baro, São Paolo.
Tenderpixel website: tenderpixel
Review of Rehana Zaman, I,I,I,I and I, Studio Voltaire, London: thisistomorrow
A conversation between Rehana Zaman and Isabel Gylling, Outpost Gallery: norwichoutpost
Rehana Zaman on Vimeo: vimeo.com

Source: Email prior to the artist talk
Rehana Zaman first told us that the works she would show us are those that have been made and exhibited in the past three years, and that she is showing us the work in the most clear way that she found. Only then, did I find out that she works with film.
The most recent of her works ‘Tell me a story of these things’, I initially thought was a refugee story. Rehana then enlightened us to the fact that this series looks at diversity. Throughout this film, there was what looked like artworks using the ingredients for a recipe – turns out these were slowly being used to make curry. Throughout the three parts of this exhibition, you increasingly gain reflections into the world of the speaker and her personal experiences in education, the world, being born and raised in Pakistan, but living much of her life in England. There was also appropriated material used within these films in the form of an e-learning prevent video in response to terrorism and radicalisation, especially in young people. This is framed as a child protection policy. Rehana was introduced to this as her role as a lecturer and the works that she has previously completed. There are layers of different figures throughout the work and all are framed as certain people, but Rehana wanted to pull this preconception apart and hollow it out. What makes this film personal to Rehana is that the central figure, is her sister, and so she herself is positioned somewhere within this film, even if that is unintentional. The form of the films are that of an unstructured interview. Rehana mentioned that she didn’t have anything in particular that she wanted to ask her sister, but she knew that she wanted it to become quite personal. The conversation was created through and relied upon the relationship between the two sisters and the activity of cooking curry to create a conversation.
Next, we were shown a clip of one of her quicker works; a 22 minute film looking at different women with different spontaneous or scripted stories, intertwined with different treatments being carried out in a salon. For example, one of these women shared how her boyfriend of the time had saved a woman from chocking, but she was left there as a nobody. Rehana wanted to look at memories and how we share accounts. Not only this, but also the way in which when we share accounts, they can somewhat fall apart. These came out of several personal experiences including a discussion at the Tate of a screening and to respond from her own perspective – she mentioned that she thought about universal female subjectivity and the process of tearing this apart.
In a somewhat answer to the screening at the Tate, Rehana created a multi-screen work sketching out different bodies and the colours of different bodies. This was done through a giantess and attempting to find a body that isn’t particularly tied to anything. Instead, she found that the brown giantess that she used, gave elements of terror and contrastingly, love.
To finish off the talk, 3 years ago, Rehana felt that this was a turning point for herself and her work, with the project ‘some women, other women and all the bitter men’. This looks at the relationship between the former Tetley (now Carlsberg) workers in Leeds, and those part of the migrant domestic workers. When we first started watching it, the clip reminded me of a ‘Holby City’ kind of vibe, and especially part of the soap-opera genre. But then, reality hit with the clips of current migrant domestic workers are trying to get their needs across to the general public. It is almost as if it is showing the two sides of what the general public think and then the real truth of the matter. While filming, Rehana said that it was unclear what the involvement with the domestic workers would lead to, until later on in filming. The domestic workers ultimately wanted for the general public to see the difficulties with their visas. This project and pieces of work also creates the question of collaboration, as there are elements of the Tetley workers, a campaign film and an art film. Rehana did mention towards the end that she does like to question authenticity, which is an element which can be seen throughout her works.

Kurt Moses

Kurt Moses takes fine art photographs of small figurines in our every day environment. The project of Un Petit Mode was created by himself and his wife, Edwige in 2010 in order to ‘capture a whimsical, evocative photo which indicates a storyline allowing the viewer to draw their own conclusion.’ They create all the scenes while travelling, including on beaches, New York City, Florida and even travelling to Death Valley, N.P. Husband and wife manipulate figurines in order to get them in the best position, ready for the camera. The photos are normally taken with a fish-eye lens in order to gain the largest amount of detail, background and general surroundings possible. Their work is also very weather dependent, and on their blog, mentioned that the weather has halted their progress of the shoots a few times! Their work is full of intricacy and delicacy, within the every day bustling environment in America.

Sources: mashkulture,  randommization,  globetrotter-magazin,  randommization,  twincitiesawesome,  thewondrous,  twincitiesawesome,  thewondrous,  mymodernmet,  fludit,  mymodernmet,  unpetitmonde,  blog,   gallery

Vincent Bousserez

Vincent Bousserez is a photographer who lives and works in Paris, photographing the Plastic Life scenarios. These began as a small entertainment, but then became prints around the galleries of Europe. The photographs of tiny people range from poetic vignettes to witty, barbed comments on human vices. They each contain small colourful plastic figures, often interacting with the human body, such as shaving, climbing, or discovering. Each photograph has a limited edition print, with many prints being sold out.

Sources: yatzer,  mylifeinart,  yellowtrace,  amolife,  blogspot,  blogspot,  invaluable,  amolife,  media-cache,  telegraph


Slinkachu has travelled the world and left his mark in each place by leaving small figurines and sculptures. This all began in 2006, with the remodelling and painting of miniature model train set characters. These figures are then set in place, photographed, and left, as an installation project and photography project. On the website, it states; “The street-based side of my work plays with the notion of surprise and I aim to encourage city-dwellers to be more aware of their surroundings. The scenes I set up, more evident through photography and the titles I give these scenes, aim to reflect the loneliness and melancholy of living in a big city, almost being lose and overwhelmed. But underneath this, there is always some humour. I want people to be able to empathise with the tiny people in my works.” The works also often involve items that are already in the environment, such as a broken pillar, cracks in walls, bin bags and even orange peels. the comparison of these miniature figurines against the real world objects, puts into perspective how big humans are, and how small things can really be, and how easily we can miss these small things.

Sources: blogspot,  pinimg,  thisiscolossal,  thedesigninspiration,  tumblr,  andipa,  blogspot,  slinkachu,  slinkachu,  slinkachu,  andipa,  slinkachu,  blogspot,  little-people,  bio

Matthew Albanese

Matthew Albanese creates beautiful outdoor scenes, photographed from the tabletop of his studio. These landscapes can include things such as cotton wool, parsley, moss, glitter, garbage bags, and many other things that you can find in the average home. Each scene is made with extreme care and caution, and when photographed, appear realistic. Some pieces, such as the ‘Everything We Ever Were’ piece, took two months, as Matthew had to store up enough fireplace ash to create the lunar landscape. All this comes from the inspiration and fascination of film, special effects and movie magic, and especially the mechanisms behind these illusions. The ‘accidental’ beginning of the lifetime landscape project came about when, in 2008, a spilled canister of paprika inspired him to create his first mini Mars landscape.

Sources: lostateminor,  media-cache,  behance,  cloudinary,  weburbanist,  cloudinary,  fadedandblurred,  photovide,  ggpht,  format,  benrubigallery,  petapixel,  matthewalbanese

Christopher Boffoli

Christopher Boffoli is a largely self-taught, fine art, commercial and editorial photographer. He began making art at an early age but only began to work with photography after receiving a camera for his birthday. His work includes editorial and documentary travel photography, but is most well known for the Big Appetites works, which features tiny figures posed against real food landscapes. These were inspired by the media that he was exposed to as a child as there were “many films and television shows that exploited both the dramatic and comedy potential of a juxtaposition of different scales: tiny-people in a normal-sized world.” Using every day objects along with every day foods, contrasting against Lilliputian dolls (sourced from Europe), he has been able to create scenes looking onto this miniature world.

Sources: andfactory,  newyork,  huffpost,  newyork,  collabcubed,  static1,  static1,  visualtheraphyonline,  bigappetites,  artsy

William Kass

William Kass is a photographer who plays with his food, to create small intricate scenes in the viewpoint of life as experienced by miniature little people. He uses small, plastic toy figures with that of food and other everyday, home items, including that of spoons, cocktail sticks and cocktail umbrellas. An orange can become a juicy, sparkling pool, chilli peppers turn into bonfires, and a zucchini becomes a cannon in a circus show. There are also scenes in which a group of men go fishing for large sashimi, an ear of corn becomes an obstacle to climb, and a bunch of green grapes are transformed into a glamorous stage for a dramatic performance. Kass uses the viewpoint from the frame of his camera in order to set up his miniature scenes, and to continue with the viewpoint of the miniature people.

Sources: boredpanda,  boredpanda,  demilked,  freeyork,  mymodernmet,  ufunk,  mymodernmet,  thewondrous,  mymodernmet,  cubebreaker,  momentsjournal,  boredpanda,  boredpanda,  mymodernmet

Nic Joly

Nic Joly creates small scenes using miniature figures. This began as a hobby for Nic and has turned into a passion for sculpting, whereupon he creates figuring from paper, wire and clay.

These frames allow the viewer to feel as though they are peering through the winder of a stranger’s life. The figures themselves are smaller than three centimetres, but are all individually detailed with a hint of intimacy.

Source: castlegalleries,  renniesgallery,  nicjoly,  castlegalleries,  castlegalleries,  nicjoly

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