THE PLANTATION COLLECTIVE 15

GARETH WILLIAMS

INTERVIEW BY JOANNA CRESSWELL

SCULPTURAL GEOMETRY

 

Tell us about your process. What reference or influence do you take from other mediums? What are the important elements of what you do? My work is a playful investigation provoked by what I come into contact with. It draws on aspects of sculpture and popular culture. In my work I feel a desire to explore opinions with works like Trajectory but also I conflict with my desire to create at a rapid speed in time with the present commercial world of photography I work within as a Studio Manager, this quick response reflected in Stuff Left Behind.

Are these pictures concerned with exploring formal and aesthetical interests, or are they representational, metaphorical? What is the weight that holds these pictures together? My works can jump between all of these things; I am of course interested by how things work together within an image, the use of colour and movement are of interest in all the images. However I do put things into the images that play with metaphor and are there are representations that aren’t obvious from the outset what their relationship is with the other objects. There isn’t one narrative that runs through this series presented, they are joined by a larger narrative that arches over them all. That is why I feel I create and produce images in a similar way to the consumption of fads or trends in society. I make, then move on, returning sometimes to add to ideas. It’s definitely to do with how I have been brought up, my attention span, and a need to rapidly reflect what is going on around me in my work. We hardly get time to comment on something before it has disappeared from public interest, and for me my main goal is to comment on what is happening in society.

Are you a photographer or an artist using photography? I’m a photographer but by definition an artist can be a photographer. I want to create images that transcend galleries and certain privileged people. The photographic is present in almost every aspect of our daily lives and reaching such a vast audience in many different mediums is an interesting ability of a photographer.

Does your work reflect on the medium of photography or the photographic image?  If so, is that intentional? I do reflect on the medium, but not always intentionally. I believe the works look at different aspects of the photographic in culture, sometimes in concepts more that in visuals.

Typically, are your works more about construction or deconstruction? All my work is a construction but a lot of the time they are of items I have found, take the one of a pyramid of cups - these are 120 cups left after a well-known brand shot a commercial. I felt it was a repurposing of them to create something that addresses this excess and the absurdity in creating temples of contemporary society with these cups.

Are you interested in the notion of your pictures as objects? Do you think about how their physicality may endure as you are photographing them or is that an afterthought? It’s not something that concerns me in the sense of its longevity. I’m less concerned with how long it will take to decay, andmore concerned with how long it can be of interest or concern to an audience in a certain form, and in that sense it’s an idea of how they may last.

Often sculptural photographic works are concerned with elevating banal objects, situations or events to a status of ‘art’ – when does something become art for you? For me, art is still seen a lot as the expensive framed image or painting on the wall in a gallery but we need to take back the definition to create a more shared value of art, we can all make art, it’s for everyone not for the few. It’s our imaginations or individual creative skill that produces art not the price tag or collection it is in. Art for me is something that opens a relationship up to questions or probe into an idea and sustains and engages thought.

WWW.GARETH-WILLIAMS.CO.UK

 

Titles from top:

Stuff Left Behind #2: 120 McDonalds Cups

She got new trainers #1

Forensic Cast #1: Forensic bag

Stuff Left Behind #1: Childs Toy Pony and Assortment of Paper

From the studio: Stack of chairs #1

Popcorn #1

Trajectory #1: Items from Scene. Farther dies in fireball after being shot at by gunmen