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Ian Hobson

Ian's work involves painting with light, using long exposure photography and a moving light source.
Most of Ian's paintings are abstract motifs, often comprised of the simple patterns our brains construct complex images from, such as circles, dots, spirals and zig-zags. These motifs are influenced by my study of prehistoric rock art and neuroscience, making reference to the relationship between consciousness and time, as seems appropriate given the methods employed.

Sometimes the background is visible, invoking other-worldliness. Here the light forms don’t exist in a way we could perceive with the naked eye, but they are definitely present to the ‘eye’ of the camera. In other images, the light forms are held floating in a non-existent phase-space, like a retinal afterimage.

Ian's works could be classified as ephemeral sculpture, as the light forms are often three dimensional and exist only fleetingly, for as long as it takes to move the light source through space. They could also be classified as performance art, sometimes carefully rehearsed, almost choreographed, at other times spontaneous and expressionistic. Yet they are still paintings or drawings, and ‘quality of line’ is very important in the execution of a piece. One term that has been used to describe the process is ‘Light Art Performance Photography’, which is reasonably accurate, serving to differentiate between the more considered pieces, and the more spontaneous ‘light graffiti’.

Ian also includes the technique known as ‘refractography’, by which light is manipulated in space and recorded on a camera without use of a lens. These forms have a much more organic, exploratory feel, using the camera to uncover things hidden from ordinary perception.

Whatever the technique, the resulting images are never digitally manipulated. Occasionally the tones or contrast are modified, but the images produced are mostly ‘straight out of the camera’ as they would appear if shot on photographic film, but with the instant results of digital photography conferring the benefits of being able to apply a fast recursive process of reviewing, amending and repeating until the desired effect is achieved. Often, this process informs the final form, as it allows incorporation of unexpected elements into the piece being created.

In short, Ian likes waving lights at cameras!

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