ARTIST PROFILE: Oliver Prowse

As we wrap up our final Graduate Show, let us present Oliver Prowse, our fourth and final photographer, in the series of Artist Profiles for ‘Brink’. We asked him some questions about his techniques and inspirations for his mesmerising and intriguing photographs.

The Body as Landscape

The Body as Landscape

Where did this project begin? Where were your ideas born?

My ideas began when experimenting in the studio. I work with the human figure in various ways, yet I am particularly fascinated with how light can transform elements of the body. I’m interested in what makes the body recognisably human, how we can challenge this and make people reevaluate cemented stereotypes of beauty.

Some elements of surrealist photography can be traced in your style of work. Who inspired this style? Is there anyone you are particularly influenced by?

The style of my images was a result of a very free process of experimentation. However, a strong influence came from the sculptures of Henry Moore. Although I would be wary of directly associating my work with surrealism, it did have a significant impact on Moore. Therefore, I cannot entirely dismiss surrealist links. However, I focused more upon Moore’s visual correlation between the figure and landscapes. My interest in this link is what drove my work and saw me attempting to create a modern, yet timeless series of images that embody landscapes of the figure.

What photographic technique did you employ to achieve the desired effect?

With this series, I looked to make  a set-up as simple as possible. Working with only one light source, I stripped the process of photographing the body back to its rawest form. This enabled me to have  precise control over the way the light fell upon the body, allowing an exact view of the highlighted lines, shapes and contours of figure. The abstract nature of the images was largely achieved varying the camera’s viewpoint relative to the subject. I experimented with figure positioning in order to produce unique perspectives, not instantly  indicative of their original subject.

Is there any particular message you wish to convey in your work?

As opposed to my work conveying a defined message, it is simply a means of making audiences reevaluate their perceptions of the human body and traditional ideas of beauty. I’m also bringing to light what can be achieved in a studio to create new kind of figurative imagery and challenge audience’s visual beliefs.

Oliver’s photography can be seen as part of Brink, showing at The Strand Gallery between until August 10th.

For more of Oliver Prowse’s individual photography, visit his website here.

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