Connor Smith at Vital Transformations Mauri Ora
Collapse Photography on acrylic, 50 x 75 cm, 2018, Unrealism
Collapse is a representation of strands of consciousness, reflecting a perception of infinity: the beauty of life’s impermanence, coupled with the suggestion of something everlasting and beyond comprehension. While visually and tonally being a harmonious blend of the extant and ephemeral. Only small adjustments to brightness and contrast were made in post-production, the image being almost completely captured in camera. The image’s origin being of sand on the beach serves as a thematic portrayal of our reality as the finest and simplest manifestation of Terra Firma in our lives; the form of which is then explicated through visual exaggeration to reflect the multi-faceted, or multi-dimensional even, nature of everything that we perceive. By taking something so ubiquitous and showing it to be so intangible, it encourages questions over the integrity of perception and reality. But while seemingly alien and unreal at first, the more time viewing the image the more semblance of natural form and tonality emerges, further showing how closely linked our reality and any unreality may truly be.
Through careful manipulation of existing light, Connor utilizes his camera to craft abstract art which is both thematically rich and visually dynamic. Eschewing Photoshop, Connor balances brightness, contrast and saturation to create his work. Drawing inspiration from his love of cinema, and in particular the work of Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky: Connors’ approach to his art is contemplative, both reflective of life and also dreamlike in execution, and seeks to portray the beauty in normalcy and the overlooked. The depiction of emotional ambiguity and subsequent personal reconciliation is a theme recurrent in Connor’s recent work. It is the artist’s hope that everybody will discover their own individual importance and understanding from his artwork, and find a unique connection; in an inimitable way in which only abstract art can truly facilitate.