Bill Jackson Photography - Fine Art Photographic Prints November 19 2013, 0 Comments
In 2007 Bill began work on his night series. Having spent years in film and multimedia practice Bill returned to photography. Bill draws influence from some of his favourite films. There is a clear cinematic feel to Bill's work with similarly cinematic titles. Bill works by night for this series. It's often cold and damp, an atmosphere that lends itself well to the foggy, eerie mystery of his images, a time when no one is around and the world is still.
Bill location hunts by day and returns by night, well prepared for what could be a whole night of shooting. As he looks through his lens he often can't see anything, but he knows what's there from seeing it in the day. Bill lines up his camera using a spirit level and presses the button for a long exposure of 5-20 minutes. He works in pitch dark. Torchlight will blind him for a good 20 minutes, so he adjusts to the dark, using a night vision scope to make sure he doesn't fall down any holes. He is hunting, he is hunting for the next image that portrays what he is seeking.
Bill is very specific about his titling. They all hark back to some earlier influence, often cinematic. One good example is “Night hawks is an old term for people who steal antiquities in the night. It's me going around and stealing the images of these spaces owned by other people, a transgression. I feel like a trespasser, going into spaces, taking away the spirit of the place. Hawks swoop down and take things, nigh hawks do it at night. "The Night of" series refers to The Night of the Hunter, the 50s movie with Robert Mitcham playing an evil creature. Curiously, despite the prominence of dark influences, Bill is a big fan of pop art and surrealism. He has a deep respect for someone who can synthesis heavy going stuff and put it in a few words. He refers to himself as a "comic book boy".
Bill doesn't believe in ultimate originality, a totally new thought, because, he says, you can trace the history of everything. Most, if not all, of what we see can be traced to some other source. That’s why originality is not his driving thought, but an inflection on what ultimately has gone before. For Bill his work either gets you or it doesn't. A clever visual artist knows that people have a history already inbuilt with triggers ready to be got, whether they be memories or lost feelings. This is what his work gets at.