“I’m fascinated by the saccharine filled shelves at charity shops packed with china dolls and animals, the boxes of broken Barbie’s, soldiers, old teddies and more. These cute, sometimes freakish, scary, odd and ugly characters look outwards with locked gazes, as if waiting to make contact with something other than us. What if these seemingly inanimate objects could meet each other, could have contact with each other – maybe they did when we weren’t looking?
I collected certain ones introducing them under the gaze of my camera to see if they made contact with each other. Some came together through longing gazes and close-up encounters, others exchanged furtive glances, while one or two seemed to connect something deeper, darker and more sinister.
I wasn’t just a photographer any more; in fact it felt I was a voyeur watching in secret as these characters made eye contact. Did they like the fact I was looking too?”
Although an idea fused from the idea of creating contact between inanimate objects, this series is also about the contact we have with them. Our lives can be strangely intertwined with relationships with inanimate objects. Whether its collecting figurines, making models, using and buying toys, gadgets or even buying art we all have contact with some sort of object.
In this series it is we who have created, designed, manufactured and then bought these characters and then had relationships with them – placing them on mantle pieces, giving them names, talking to them and placing great importance and value on them as they gaze out looking for something. But are they interested in having this relationship with us and not their their own kind?
In the work we are shunned by our creations into the position of the voyeur as if our relationships with them and our imaginings have created the inevitable and made them real. This new position of voyeur can only continue to excite us.
Created for Contact The Exhibition at Rhubarb East Gallery, 2010