Known as a maverick and unique image-maker, Stephen Gill constantly tests the limits of the photographic medium. He can be described simultaneously as a documentarist, anthropologist, alchemist, or a sociologist. His aim is to “bottle, preserve and attempt to make images that respond to and reflect the times in which we live.” Drawing together six of many iconic series created to date during his 28 year practice, myeyefellout reflects on the artist’s lifelong fascination with nature and his dialogue with London’s borough of Hackney.
On occasion Gill used a plastic camera to help retain the essence of place without relying on enhanced detail or clarity to describe, before turning to bolder and more experimental working methods and manual interventions. These included part-processing negatives in energy drinks (Best Before End), leaving photos to decompose in the ground (Buried) and utilizing pond water during different stages (Co-existence). Emerging out of these processes were new and complex compositions as Gill gave space and encouragement for the place or subject to breath and speak for itself and reveal essential details while transforming the often austere scenery.
Alongside the fine art prints, the exhibition also includes an overview of Gill’s internationally celebrated publications to date. In 2005 Gill founded his own publishing house Nobody. Gill was a forerunner and set the stage for what has become in recent years a huge movement in self-publishing books of photography.