Vibrance. Similar hues mimicked within the same frame. A surrealist constructed utopian plane is brought into existence with editing software. Grain becomes a theme. Renditions appear to be physically altered into objects with visible marks reminiscent of cheap photocopy impressions. Photocopied from a world that only its creator’s eyes have the key to, her audience can only but glimpse at the fringes of her world.
It is a fact that the human eye does not have the ability to observe the world the same way that the lens does and here I am not speaking of objectivity or subjectivity but the lens’ ability to isolate a subject/s from the moving world. A lens of a photographic camera has the ability to freeze a single moment, and subject, to place it within any context and for us to forever look at this ‘moment in time’ as it were. It is the nature of the constructed image and our ability to linger over its emotion that is intriguing. Grooming herself into quite the constructor of surrealist renditions is the Durban based photographer, Paige Furness.
In adolescence, her interest in photography grew as she started exploring and navigating the world in a different way. However, Paige’s first memories of holding such a ‘recording device’ was in her childhood playing with the cameras of adults who happened to be around. “Then photographing just became more and more of a natural thing to me, and I learned and played along the way, with the past three years dedicating most of my time to it.”
Subject matter can simply be described as young women and girls which sometimes diverges to include depictions of everyday life encounters and objects such as a bus window or a boat window. Water and the female form become intertwining themes and it is as if, when not preoccupied with these Paige must look THROUGH something in order to see it (bus window, boat window). Explaining her fascination with water she expresses, ”I love the idea of its many forms and ways it can be presented. And its relationship to light shakes something in me deeply. I love experimenting with and exaggerating these things through editing.”
Interesting enough Paige does not recognize a uniform subject matter in her own work but instead describes it as a feeling, and I think that’s beautiful.
In a process that can only be described as an adventure quest, her spontaneous shoots are embarked upon when she and her friends explore locations along the hotel strip of Durban’s beachfront, their personal homes or locations where there is water. As a compliment to her spontaneous image making, she shoots on a little Fuji X70 which she credits to have shaped her approach to shooting. Paige describes her way of seeing as one of layers, easily discernible when pulling out the various elements that make up her images. Her amateurish camera that adds so much to the final rendition making her images near tangible feature shallow depth of field, exaggerated tones and vibrance as well as unnatural lighting situations almost as though a cheap printer cartridge had leaked into the colour of the portrayals. Her unnatural depictions remove her work to another plane of existence, one of beauty.
“I think that the message is often just; beauty. Like, when life feels disheartening or ugly, I try to embrace and remind myself of everything lovely.”