are the different processes your work goes through before it reaches
Initially I will find a location that holds some level of interest
to me. I
may visit more than once, but usually something fixes itself in
my mind the
first time I see it. It is like taking a mental photograph. It could
architectural detail or a particular arrangement of colours or something
else. On returning to my studio I set about trying to recall that
through the process of making a model. This model will be made taking
consideration a particular angle from which to make a photograph.
completing the model, I will set up some studio lights and photograph
sometimes re-photograph five or six times until its right. Then
there is the
process of making a photographic print which can achieve your initial
photograph. The whole process could take a few weeks, a month or
does photographing models allow you to do that you can not in the
I guess ultimately its control. The type of photographs I want to
just not possible in our busy and overcrowded cities. Making models
me to strip away the unwanted detail to reveal an underlying form
are your chosen subjects and why?
I am fascinated by the city and urban environment. Its the overpowering
visual mixture of everything which demands to be interpreted through
making of art.
an interesting concept designing the interior of galleries as a
subject for your photographs, where did this particular idea come
Following a project in 1995, when I photographed objects in some
I had made, I began placing these object on top of the boxes. This
arranging objects on plinths began forming in my mind, which in
into gallery spaces, interiors and scale.
has been a shift between your earlier models of gallery interiors
new subject of moving images taken from your car. What brought this
Well not exactly. My recent exhibition 'From the Ring Road' was
half glimpsed sights you see when driving in and out of different
These were still photographs which involved models and some double
exposures. Incidentally I have been working on some video works
gallery in Sheffield. These are about shifting the view beyond the
a photograph and moving a video camera along tracks to reveal more
left and right, or passing by in a single movement.
go through a very elaborate process in order to make your photographs
models appear as realistic as possible, however they are fabricated
environments, do you leave clues in the work to reveal this fallacy
or is it a fact that can only be learned from exhibition information?
This sense of reality is important to me. Photography's history
documentary and trying to reveal a truth has left the medium with
familiar language. I am interested in working with this set of rules,
a new way. I do not work to scale or on a perspective table, so
'imperfections' become the clues. I also use a limited colour palette
reduce the contrast in my photographs.
important is it that your processes are revealed?
I am quite happy for viewers of my photographs not to realise they
models at all. I do not set out to trick anyone and its the content
subject matter which is equally engaging for me. When looking at
series of my photographs, the processes begin to reveal themselves.
stick with what you know or are you quite experimental?
I enjoy the slow and methodical approach of making in my studio.
plenty of time for reflection and planning the next one. I do have
I turn up to the studio and try something different or just shoot
of rolls of film in town. The video works were new and experimental
decided to do them as a way of moving my practice onto new territory.
you reveal what scale the models are?
I make things which usually fit on the table top, but they are slowly
getting bigger. There is something different which happens when
place your head and camera lens inside them. If I had a larger studio
they may increase in size again.
is the timescale for building one of your models?
I think a recent one (Empty Building) took over a month, but then
planned three separate shots, and the sides came off to allow for
happens to the models once the photograph has been taken?
The models are broken down and reused. The models only really exist
viewpoint and do not work in the round.
is your current project?
I am working on a new photographic series of model buildings exteriors.
are the unseen parts of buildings which are either obscured by trees,
buildings or facing away from the road.
are your forthcoming exhibitions?
I have just completed four commissioned video works for the Site
Sheffield, UK. These will be shown as part of 'Immediate 3' in August
were the weirdest, worst and most enjoyable shows that you have
I still list 'eating chicken's feet with Lawrence Weiner' on my
'any other experience'. He was a selector for East International
Norwich, UK, and had chosen some of my work. The selected artists
went for a
Chinese meal. Lawrence particularly liked chickens' feet and ordered
basket for the table. After much trying we could not find a matching
are your artistic heroes?
There are many artists I admire for different reasons, Baldessari,
some of the German photographers, Penone's sculptures, but I would
to find anyone more inspirational than Jem Southam. His photographs
ability to effect me in their command of the medium, ambition, and
to contemporary debate.
Gaia Persico, April 2005.