OVERDUE is excited to feature James Dean Diamond, a contemporary British artist who uses science and technology mixed with photography and sound, to create his unique artwork. We asked James to give us an overview of his work and process.
“My practice is defined by notions of escapism, where projects are underpinned by a storytelling narrative. Earlier in my career, the investigation was realised through portraiture and fashion, drawing upon literature, film and classical/pop music from my teen years and childhood. During this figurative period, inspiration was taken from photographers such as Sarah Moon, Deborah Turbeville, Steven Meisel, and the arresting works by Paolo Roversi, to this day, Italian Vogue remains a resource. For me, these photographers create characters and environments that possess an ectoplasmic and ethereal quality, while inhabiting an alternate plane of existence.”
“I seek to create artwork that shapes our perception beyond the realism of everyday life. Rather than approach photography as a documentary form, I employ the camera as a device to create shifts within the urban environment, where works slip into a dissolved meta physical state — making the intangible tangible, permitting the invisible to be revealed.”
“Part of the work is characterised as an altered reality, to consider the metropolis as an orchestration of reflected light, streaming and oscillating the solid form. Through this lens, even the most inanimate object is in a state of flux — there is the potential to suspend the permanent state, and disintegrate into a hidden corridor of time and energy. Once I immerse myself within this mindset, I become an entity which interacts within this sea of energized photons. A photon is a particle representing a quantum of light or other electromagnetic radiation. …It carries energy proportional to the radiation frequency but has zero rest mass — as such, the photon is a fine sub atomic medium, many thousand times finer than particles of paint, giving the photographic medium the scope for intricate mark making capabilities.”
“Prior to photography, I was an electronic and mechanical engineer, as an artist, my view is to interpret an understanding of the world with theoretical scientific concepts, to vision worlds with imagination. With my long-term curator, Samia Ashraf, we are currently the Artist in Residence at the Genome Damage and Stability Centre, part of the School of Life Sciences at the University of Sussex. The Baxter Lab is a leading DNA research lab and our collaboration has led to a body of photographic work Still Points & Sea Beams. Here, the intention is to visualise and make palpable the DNA in its formation, when molecular activity occurs inside the cells. Setting a working brief, I develop as an amino acid moving through the city, the conurbation represents the nucleus of the cell.”
“By using science concepts to shape and formulate a methodology for devising photographic techniques, enriches the possibilities for the work; for example, by understanding DNA is fundamentally a molecule assembling process — I shoot various urban settings using several angles of view, these are assembled and layered to achieve a complex image that retains a high density of information.”
“To have a human story working alongside the science inquiry, one that touches the viewer on an emotive level, as well as a political element which observes the volatile period society is facing is key. Still Points and Sea Beams illustrates parallel concerns, the cyclical battles of the biological field and complexity of human existence through an emotive suggestion. Several pieces represent abstracted battlefields and the mass movement of people, the depiction of the human figures is reduced to ambiguous marks suggestive of molecule strand structures.”
The works shown here are from projects Castle Keep, Dreaming of Le Gibet & Still Points and Sea Beams — for more information, please go to: www.jamesdeandiamond.com