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Artist Feature ://
Jake Bonnell
Posted September 2018

L.P.F (Light Photo Field) #3, Jake Bonnell. Projection and photo paper, 2018.

L.P.F (Light Photo Field) challenges the audience to question the application of a photograph, whether physical or digitised. Working primarily in the colour darkroom, Bonnell manipulates and transpires the traditional methods of photography to a three-dimensional field of view.

The origin of the darkroom print provides the artist with an ability to heighten the sense, perspective and substance of a well-known material. To him this material can be folded, ripped, teared and sprawled across any canvas of his choosing, particularly in this series where projection and digitalised colour photograms are cast across a landscape of plinths that act as multiple canvases.
Combining sculpture, photography, moving image and drawing, Bonnell's work ultimately initiates a conversation between the photograph and its medium counter parts.

L.P.F (Light Photo Field) #5, Jake Bonnell. Projection and photo paper, 2018.

Q. Could you explain the process of how one of your pieces are made?

To begin with I should explain that each photograph is a documentation of an installation. The installation's first stage was created within the colour darkroom where I chose to manipulate the way a photograph is traditionally printed. Using a malleable and transparent material such as tracing paper, I forced it into the negative holder, allowing folds and rips to overlap and combine arbitrarily. The prints produced from the rips and folds bending out of the border of the negative holder created an abstraction that is unique every time due to the lack of control and rules.

The second process was to develop these prints further, digitalising them using a basic scanner so the control was given back to me. From there I employed the use of a projector to mimic the traditional process of printing (using light), but instead casting the newly digitalised print across any landscape or object of my choosing. The last stage to creating these installations was projecting within an empty space. I used a series of white plinths, placed in the foreground of the wall space, to warp and bend the projected images while they also acted as a newly found canvas. This allowed me to experiment with scale, shadows and light to create a series of original installations. Photographing these spaces using a digital camera and editing them post shoot.

L.P.F (Light Photo Field) #2, Jake Bonnell. Projection and photo paper, 2018.

Q. By combining photography with other mediums such as sculpture and drawing, what do you hope to show from this?

I wanted to prove that the traditional use of photography could surpass the intended use for its creation. I see photography as a tool to begin the process of documenting or creating something from light instead of what one perceives as a final processed image. To me it is part of the process such as a paint brush is a component of the final painting. My process of photography allows me to use imagery as a constructive implement pushing the depths and rules of my final work.
The desire to force the ideal outlook of a photograph onto a three-dimensional plain was to emphasise shape, shadow and perspective. This would result in a merge between various artistic mediums, creating a sub-genre of photography whilst still using traditional methods. It was an opportunity to understand my own outlook on photography as a whole but also how it coincides when contrasted with abstracted works of painters I researched such as Matisse or Kandinsky. 

L.P.F (Light Photo Field) #6, Jake Bonnell. Projection and photo paper, 2018.

Q. As a space how important is the darkroom for your process?

The dark room is a vital method to begin the development from traditional photography to contemporary, bridging the gap between past and present methods. The darkroom allowed me to make unique and one of pieces that were unpredictable. This meant that each developed outcome would be unknown until it was processed outside of the darkroom therefore making the whole creative process an exciting relief to standard photography. My development led me to move away from a camera, step away from the lens to a side of photography that was more malleable and could be controlled more closely by my own hand.

Q. Do you have a particular artist you relate to most?

I find a connection to Henri Matisse and Wassily Kandinsky, largely from their theories and methods of process. The idea shape and colour can emit emotion instantly caught my attention. Once I delved into the theoretical understandings behind most works I found myself objectively processing my photography differently to what I had been taught. From my work, you can see the huge influence within the block shapes and colours and my interpretation of these artists work in the contemporary age. The reflection between my work and the work of previous pioneering artists is a suitable critique to my evolving development.

L.P.F (Light. Photo. Field), Jake Bonnell. Projection and photo paper, 2018.

Q. What is the ideal environment for your work to be exhibited? (white cube, industrial space etc)

This work can be exhibited in two ways; installation or print. Through the use of installation whole spaces from factories to white gallery walls can be easily enhanced to suit the work as long as the space is dark. I would prefer this work to explode across walls so the intense colour, light and shadows can truly be analysed by the audience, engrossing each step of my process. Although working best as installations, they can become independent prints that capture a different perspective of abstraction through the use of photography.

Q. Does your work have an audio element to it? If not, how would it impact the work if it were included?

I had experimented shortly with audio during the process stage of this project, attempting to understand what various sounds and music would suit the stillness of the installation. However, due to the simple lack of movement and audience focus wanting to be solely on the process of the imagery, audio would dismantle the combination of mediums that sound simply did not fit within. 

L.P.F (Light Photo Field) #4, Jake Bonnell. Projection and photo paper, 2018.

Q. Your work, in my opinion, is pushing the boundaries of how photography can be interpreted, but do you have any advice for other creatives who want to experiment more with photography but don't know where to begin?

The great thing about photography is the simplicity of it and whether or not you understand the 'rules' there is always an outcome to look at and learn from. For my generation, I believe iPhones are something to cherish. There is so much to learn from them in terms of photography as its instant feedback allows for mistakes in return for forgiveness. I would say pick one up (if you somehow don't already own one) and find what excites you, look at your interests, hobbies, cat or dog and from there you will understand what works for you.

︎ www.jakebonnell.co.uk

︎ @jake_bonnell

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