I'm a visual artist and writer in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

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Thinking through to a book.

Walking, photographing and writing are key to my art practice. I produce a series of small recorded moments, a stream of photos and writing. Walking becomes a creative act, a way of collecting images and memories.

Blogging complements this practice, providing an impetus for me to polish things until they can be published. This editing adds order and narrative, stringing a series of small moments together into something more. I make connections: two photos placed together can carry a story in the space between them. Two diptychs placed together suggest a system.

Publishing digital photos on the web allows me a spontanaeity and freedom that I’ve never experienced when presenting photographs as printed objects. The web gives the work a liveliness that I find invigorating.

Each blog begins as a sort of public sketchbook, and over time begins to synthesize into a cohesive stream of work. With indexical, I noticed myself continuously interpreting the city as a palimpsest of contrasting visual symbols. This coincides with my interest in psychogeography and walking as a creative act. Pairing photos into diptychs has become a way to express the push and pull of meaning I experience as I wander Halifax, Corner Brook, and other places I’ve lived and visited over the past three years.

It’s a matter of finding intersections between the unexpected and the everyday. How the city presents itself, divided by how the city is. I photograph the remainder of this elusive equation.

Writing has always accompanied my photography, but has often remained tucked away in notebooks. When I published my Halifax Walking Notebook on my blog, rather than retyping and editing the text, I scanned each page and displayed the work as a series of images. Presenting my handwriting with all its struggles, scribbles and spelling mistakes gives the writing an immediacy and personality that is missing from typewritten text. It also complements the way I approach photography, rarely editing my photos beyond basic cropping, contrast and colour adjustments. I make a point of writing in public places, and the writing is frequently descriptive and steeped in firsthand experience. I often write about photography and walking.

Thus I publish my photos the way one usually writes, and present my writing photographically. This book project will be a synthesis of digital photography and analog text. These contrasts form the heart of the work.

Content ©  2017 Matthew Hollett. RSS