Photo: Calum James Crowther in Sheffield, Yorkshire

Calum James Crowther

Curator, Arts administrator, Graphic designer, Technician
Early career

I attempt to combine my fascination with films and narrative paintings in the construction of single large-scale photographs and I am particularly interested in developing and establishing protagonists within these to create an enhanced view of the world. Through the realization of backstories and motivations I aim to make these personalities as real as possible in order that the viewer may empathize with them and their situation. I am intrigued at how the absence of the fourth wall in staged photography makes it difficult for the audience to suspend disbelief. In my work I play with these problems through setting the scene in the past as a means of heightening the idea of a paused narrative. I feel that my photographs set in an immediate post-war Britain, where society was both attempting to forget and understand the atrocities of the Second World War, enable the creation of imagery with a particularly heightened dynamic. I am further intrigued by notions of the objectivity of a story and how the narrator, either consciously or unconsciously affects this. I play with these ideas by omitting people from my work; instead I use the rooms to tell their own stories. These narratives are intended to reveal themselves slowly, thereby creating ambiguities, both accidental and deliberate. ?I achieve this by designing and creating my own sets each one unique to compliment the narrative subtleties of each concept. To further deepen the worlds I create, I make my own props varying from a portrait in the style of Victorian paintings to designing beer, motor oil and whiskey labels in the style of 1960s brands and pairing them with vintage looking bottles and cans. I thus employ photography and digital manipulation as a means of exploring narratives that reveal truths about human behaviour, particularly the more mysterious and darker aspects of society. read full statement

Location Sheffield, Yorkshire
Artforms / type of project Digital, Painting, Photography