ARTIST STATEMENT

I am a photographer based in East Sussex, UK.  I have always been drawn to the visual arts and am inspired by the work of many artists and photographers of all genres.  I believe art has a vital role to play in enabling us to connect with the world in a more intuitive way.

I am interested in capturing my experience and feelings about the world around me.  While a camera can capture scenes in high definition I don’t believe that we experience the world in this way.  Rather it is a series of fleeting impressions and emotions, coloured by our own memories and thoughts.

As well as traditional image making, I love the freedom of using creative camera techniques such as multiple exposure and camera movement.  In fact, discovering these techniques was a “lightbulb” moment for me as I felt that finally, I had found a medium through which I may be able to express my thoughts.

My other passion is for the written word, especially poetry, and I am very interested in the relationship between words and image.

Most of all I like learning and discovery and am enjoying this creative journey with no end, with many distracting side turnings and no defined destination.

Many thanks to Valda and Doug for their inspiration and encouragement and the opportunity to explore ideas.

 

“No artist should tolerate reality” - Neitzsche

 

Website:  janbeephotography.com

Instagram: @jan.beesley

 

PROJECT STATEMENT

 

The presence of absence

As we walk the earth we cast a shadow.

When we are gone our shadow remains,

To walk alongside others.

We ‘see’ with our hearts and minds.  What we see isn’t always in the ‘present’ as memories, feelings and associations influence our perception.

A poem becomes the poets' shadow, lingering when they are gone.  Someone reading that poem to another passes the poets shadow on, entwined with their own, taking on new meanings, shaping new light.

Objects, words and phrases resonate through the tangled net of time, shadows from the past mingled with the present to form the shadows of the future.

Time isn’t a line dance it’s more like free form jazz.  Making its own connections and rhythms.

~~~

I found an old photo of my Dad, aged 16, on his bike at a road junction on the road between Hastings and Winchelsea.   Because of the road sign, I can locate the exact spot, so it struck me that if I visited that spot I could stand exactly where he stood all those years ago.   Then I realised that I don’t need to literally tread in his footsteps because I am already doing that emotionally and psychologically.

The thoughts I think, the way I see, the words I use are all a synthesis of my own thoughts and the experiences of the past.

My Dad was a huge influence on me and although he died in 2013 he is still very much present in my life.

Dad loved poetry, literature and art and in another time and place may have had a very different life.  Like many of his generation, his life was profoundly affected by the second world war.

Books were his solace and escape.  Fragments of poems would often be quoted and became part of the language of our family, often taking on different meanings to those intended by the poet!  Many a Sunday afternoon was spent leafing through books trying to find out what poem that quote was from, what came next.

Dad grew up in Hastings, East Sussex and had what seems now like an idyllic childhood. He and his brother would go off on their bikes exploring the countryside and having adventures.  Hastings itself was an exciting place for a boy, with the active fishing fleet and many curious characters.

One of Dad’s muses was Don Quixote who has been described as “a man fighting against his own limitations to become who he dreams to be”.   A concept which will resonate with many of us I think.

To the world, Dad was a Sussex lad, an RAF engineer, a Customs and Excise man.   To us, he was a deep thinker with a sense of mischief, a teller of tales, a reader of poems, an artist and sculptor, a lover of trees and wildlife, a free swimmer of seas and lakes and had a “mind full of useless information.

Wonders of the deep

Small boy’s paradise,

Secrets trapped in tangled nets.

Salt in the lifeblood.

 

The madness of piers

Different rules apply,

Where waves make the shingle sing.

Lost voices whisper.

 

A sadder and a wiser man he rose the morrow morn

“For all averred, I had killed the bird,

That made the breeze to blow.”

 

From “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by S.T. Coleridge

 

But answer came there none

Oysters turning blue,

Shining sun and sulky moon.

The world is nonsense.

 

Explaining the solar system with fruit

The heavenly spheres,

Tamed as fruit on the table.

The cosmos is ours.

 

Heart Wood

You greeted us when first we came,

Your arms outstretched,

A whispered welcome in your leaves.

Your trunk was wind-bent,

Your limbs twisted but unbowed.

Your gnarled bark grasped by tender hands,

Your strong arms scarred by the ropes of a swing,

Where gleeful children of all ages played.

Later the sighing swing became the place⠀

Where teenage trysts were made,

And urgent secrets shared.

But years and rain took their toll,

The time came to say goodbye.

After the chopping was done,

And the logs were stacked for winter,

Only a rough-hewn slither remained,

In the shape of a heart.

 

 

Tilting at windmills

O errant knight,

Gaze into your mind and see,

Your dreams become real.

 

Who can determine,

The world beyond our own thought.

Our dreams are our truth.

 

Home from the hill

Home is the sailor, home from the sea,

And the hunter home from the hill.

 

From “Requiem” by RL Stevenson

 

No dominion

“Though lovers be lost, love shall not;

And death shall have no dominion”

 

Dylan Thomas

 

Daring to dream

“…I wrote my will across the sky, in stars”

 

From “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” by T.E. Lawrence

 

Shadows

We are but shadows,

Tangled in the web of time.

Then is now is then.

 

 

Social media, Valda

Social media, Bailey Chinnery

Social media, Doug