When one leaves what they consider “home”, they are at first unfamiliar with the new surroundings, often intent upon adjusting and making a new “home” for themselves. At the same time, others see the new arrival as ugly, different from their surroundings, until they become accustomed to the presence of the new person. Each time one leaves their perceived “home” they go through the same process. Familiarity is the measuring rod of aesthetics. Creativity brews in the grey zones between what is familiar and what is unfamiliar. It stems from the process of making sense of one’s surroundings: the transition from noise to information.
Digital images flood our Facebook pages, our websites, our computers, and our mobile phones. But they are merely bits of the bigger picture. Perception is built from multiple 0.3 second pieces of what we see. Combine this with the way in which we transform noise into information, and eventually, our ways of constructing images have to follow suite. David Hockney recognized this, as did Mark Klett.
McLeod's photographic practice derives from playing against the camera, playing against its established program of seeing, composing, clicking and reviewing; by doing something it did not expect: bringing together a lens from the past and a camera of the present, two elements never designed to be anywhere near each other. His subject have all been consumed by this “hybrid” camera, piece by piece during a period of sometimes up to one hour, after which, they are then reconstructed. Each final composition is in truth a visualization of how the subjects are perceived across many moments of time. The moments, however, are just the ones that do not escape the camera’s clutches. There are of course, still many moments in between that manage to slip away.
Gary McLeod is an artist who is based in Japan and the UK. His work has been exhibited predominately at venues in Japan including Contemporary Art Space Osaka; Zuishoji Art Space, Tokyo; and the Foreign Correspondents Club, Tokyo. In 2006, he received a Masters Preparation award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK for his visual research of the British scientific vessel HMS Challenger’s visit to Japan in 1875. Since then, he has continued to center his research on the photographs taken throughout Challenger’s voyage. He has given public lectures at venues including the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, and the Natural History Museum in London where collections of his photographs are also housed in the Murray Library. He has lectured at institutions in India and the UK including Loughborough University School of Arts and Canterbury Christ Church University.