Artist Feature ://
Posted January 2019
Connor Dudgeon is a visual artist based in Toronto, Ontario. Training in the creative photography program at Humber College gave him the skills needed to shoot many different aspects of photography and an ability to adapt to changing styles and subjects. With an organic approach, his work shows a sense of candidness and trueness to the space and objects around.
‘Volcanic’, Series ‘Passerby’, Connor Dudgeon. Digital photograph, 2018
|Q. When did you first realise that you had an interest in photography?
I first realised I was interested in photography when my dad took me to the X Games in LA in 2003. Having a huge love for skateboarding and action sports it was an amazing event to visit. He had a small canon point and shoot and I realized I could capture things in a different way than my eye, something I could control in so many ways. Trying over and over to get the timing, framing and feel right was a challenge but I loved it right away. That led me to taking photography in high school, college and continue it to this day. All because of the feeling I got being in the stands shooting action sports on a vacation.
Q. Your subject matters range across multiple genres, if you had to focus on one area for the remainder of your career, which would it be and why?
It’s hard to ignore the love for the street. Being able to shoot people living and enjoying their lives in their communities, seeing how they interact with it is so interesting and exciting to capture. It’s like a hunt for the true feeling of the place I’m in, trying to be apart of it, while staying just on the perimeter documenting it. The troublesome part is once I leave a place, going through the images, I may find what that feeling finally is and want to go back to shoot it with the new thoughts I have. Being able to focus on that mindset the rest of my career would be a dream. For now I will stick to shooting everything that I see that captures my attention. I would hate to limit myself when there is so much out there that interests me; characters, colours, textures, motion and atmosphere. Those are the things that define my photography.
‘Back Room’, Series ‘Passerby’, Connor Dudgeon. Digital photography, 2018.
‘Girl in Daiymo’, Series ‘Passerby’, Connor Dudgeon. Digital Photograph, 2018.
Q. There is an honest curiosity to your photographs lacking any manipulation or edited trickery. Why do you feel that it is important to capture moments of the world and life as they are?
This world is already so interesting and intriguing without even diving into manipulation. There is so much potential to show what we are already working with, it’s just about looking at in a way you might not be used to. We as a humanity need to open our eyes and mind to the potential of things being more than just the the things we pass by day to day. When you do this, it opens you up to seeing a beautiful, funny, interesting world that you might not have noticed before. I love a truthfulness even if it is just a sliver of the whole picture. Plus there is a such an amazing rich history of photographers and artists capturing life from their perspective that it’s interesting to say “this is what I get out this”, it’s hard to do that direct comparison with trickery.
‘Heart Shaped Bag’, Series ‘Passerby’, Connor Dudgeon. Digital photograph, 2018.
Q. Tell us about your project ‘Passerby’. How did you find photographing in a new environment?
Passerby is series I shot all around Japan while on a 5 week trip around the country in October. The series shows the feelings of love and loneliness in Japan. The country’s residents are going through a very interesting time socially, there is such a dense population but people are having a very hard time finding others to connect with. There is an increasing hole in the population of people being in relationships, having children and bonding with others in traditional ways. It is leading to a decrease in population and social skills as a whole. For a country that has the most amazing, funny and friendly people I have ever met, it is a sad statistic to realize that people just aren’t connecting. There are so many factors that have caused Japan to be in this position, but I found it powerful to showcase the connections that people are experiencing. The series shows all levels of this; loneliness, close connections, family and friends. I loved shooting in a new environment, it gives me a great sense of what the place is all about. I enjoy just walking around endlessly finding the best people and places to capture interesting images. It gives me a sense of adventure and exploration while being able to see what I get from being in a new environment personally. Being in new environments can only grow you as a person I think. Japan was the best place for this, everyone should go!
‘Two for one’, Series ‘Passerby’, Connor Dudgeon. Digital photograph, 2018.
Q. Why do you do what you do?
I do it because I love creating, being able to control things and get something out it is very satisfying. The feeling when you get a photo exactly the way you imagined it or even if you happen to get an image almost by accident because you didn’t see it that way originally is super fun and exciting for me. Then being able to edit images to have the feel that I want is a very addictive process. I look up to a lot of photographers and artists and how they go about life and what they get out of it, creatives including David Alan Harvey, Alex Webb, Steve McCurry, Danny Lyon, Grey Sorrenti, Dafydd Jones and Henri Cartier-Bresson to name a few, so maybe that has something to do with it...
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