Inspired by Bill Brandt

Brandt-kew

Bill Brandt, Evening at Kew Gardens, 1937

What were the photographs that intrigued you early on and got you started in photography?

When I was “young in photography” as a teenager, there were some Bill Brandt images in a museum catalogue that taught me about the poetic possibilities of photography and the range of potential subject matter.

Saying you were inspired by Bill Brandt is not original, everyone was, it seems like his role in life was to nudge people into the arms of this medium. There is something about the distinctive personal vision combined with the accessibilty of his pictures.

This image is suspended in time, so gentle it has a sensory effect – you can hear the sound of dusk. And yet look at how simple it is, only two elements: the bird and the background. The beauty of that white form reminds us of Brancusi sculptures, and yet it is purely photographic, taken in a moment of time before the bird moved on. And how other that bird is from us.

Brandt started out in Surrealism and even in his documentary work he never fully left it. This image has some of that aroma of strangeness, of another reality shadowing the ordinary daylight world.

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