The architectural features of buildings, both inside and out, provide a rich source of inspiration for my artwork. Using my own photographic images I create unique collages which focus on the decorative visual features found in cornicing, windows, ceilings, floors, fireplaces, stairs and carved designs in wood and stone. The buildings that I find most inspiring are those with an abundance of visual elements and a pleasing aesthetic combination of line, shape, pattern, form, colour and texture.
My camera is a small digital with a zoom lens. The images I use are not altered or adapted in any way; rather, I keep them in their original form, as they were captured on the day they were photographed.
I photograph in all weathers, however my preference is a bright sunny day when the natural light enhances the colours and deepens and defines the shadows. However, grey skies and rain bring their own challenges and surprising results. One of the Oran Mor collages clearly shows the large raindrops that fell during a downpour. This gives a softening effect to that area of the composition.
When I am photographing a new building I look for features that can be used as a centrepiece in my work. When planning my designs I will often begin with this centre feature and expand outwards, like a spiders web. I spend a large amount of time moving my photographs around on board, choosing which images I am going to duplicate for the collage. Then I begin to select and cut the areas of the photographs I have chosen to use.
My very first collage featured the facade of the iconic William Leiper building in Glasgow Green, nowadays The Templeton Business Centre. It is an imaginative and highly decorative building with wonderful detail – a real inspiration.