Photographic artwork created by Beverley Cornwell.
Sometimes I imagine I see relationships occurring between strangers. These photographs capture the invisible bonds and emotions projected onto strangers seen together on the streets of Newport, Wales or observed between images during the editing process. These pictures are ideally viewed in pairs to further suggest this relationship between strangers. They were taken using an old Nikon FM2 35mm film camera and hand processed and printed using traditional darkroom techniques.
‘Constructed Reality’ illustrates the temporary nature of a space made from scaffolding. Double exposures were taken as people passed through this area, giving them a ghostly effect and visually demonstrating that these spaces only exist for a brief moment in time. Taken with a Lubitel 166b and using black and white Medium Format film in the artificial corridor made by the building work outside the new City Centre Campus of the University of Wales, Newport, the images are intended to be displayed in a 4x4 grid to reiterate the feeling of being observed by CCTV cameras stationed at either end of the walkway.
The Topology of the Face
Based on passport imagery, physiognomy and the topology of the face, this work is an exploration of identity, nature and nurture. By overlaying ordnance survey maps of hometowns over passport style portraits, then stamping an aerial view of the same area to further distort features, questions arise of how the areas we live shape our identity. Can the places we live actually shape our features? Further questions occurred while researching information monitoring and biometrics; how are we identified and assessed by others when our backgrounds are revealed? One image remains unmasked as the ordnance survey data was unavailable for Northern Ireland, widening the connotations of the impact in knowing a persons birthplace can have upon our reading of their character.
The Way Through the Woods
Based on a poem by Rudyard Kipling, this interactive web project highlights changing issues around what is kept private and public. Galleries are hidden in the text and can be found by sweeping the mouse over them (the text will slightly change colour). Click ‘Back’ in your browser to return to the poem and to this page. My Artist Statement is hidden in the word ‘by’ – watch for the cursor change!
The Shape of Crowds
In the zoo there are almost invisible barriers created between us and animal. Cages are a thing of the past; modern zoos rely on thick glass or distance, adding a little water to separate one creature from another. While the physical and metaphorical distance between ourselves and animal becomes greater, a dominance is enforced over nature to create an environment strictly under human control and made almost entirely for our viewing pleasure. The images are deliberately difficult to read at first glance, inviting the viewer to peer in and decipher exactly what has been captured and placed behind the glass. The accompanying video studies the reactions of people as they look into an enclosure.
'Volitant' explores the meaning of animal representations and their public display by humans, observing the habitats created for them. Photographs from the woods of an archery range show animal targets designed and situated to replicate their wild counterparts. The accompanying videos show an air-conditioning breeze unintentionally giving life to otherwise motionless natural history exhibits. The birds in the museum have once again been given the power of flight; the animals in the woods are unwittingly engaged with this power. Not only do they incur the force of the arrow in flight, they are active, moving (in each case due to the humans that created the environment they exist in). These are volitant creatures with no means of relief or escape.