BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Blurring reality and fiction, the theatricality of evangelism is explored in a series of advertising-inspired image - BJP

Christianity as practised by members of African communities in London. Hawgood, who has just completed his Master’s in photography at the Royal College of Art, created a series of bold images that often resemble billboard ads. Highly stylised, the images depict moments of intense worship: a figure with eyes closed as if in a meditative state, or on the floor, arms outstretched, for example. Some images show a hand clasping a strategically placed object – an atomiser, a bandage or a microphone. In one image, a woman is seated on the floor, drooling onto a sheet of paper. He offers very little by way of explanation so that the viewer is forced to make up their own mind about what they are seeing. “I feel that by exposing the process, too much is revealed and the images lose their ambiguity – the very thing I’m attempting to create,” he says. CGI, lighting design and installation are important elements of his process, though, and help to blur the line between reality and fiction. “I want people to think about what is being presented to them, and to ask questions: where were these images taken? Is this a studio setup or a documentation of real life? I want people to make up their own minds.” He takes inspiration from studying the world around him – isolating and then reconstructing what he sees. “I have an interest in exploring things I wouldn’t normally experience and investigating topics that inhabit the imaginary spaces of people’s minds. The work is an exploration of the theatrical practice of deliverance that plays a central role in this Christian belief system.”


 

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Dominic is a London based visual artist and graduate from the Royal College of Art

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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, DOMINIC HAWGOOD, 2016