THE BEGINNING OF THE END
A large thistle protrudes from a tyre. Beside it, a frayed saddle. Then grass, weeds, a yellow plastic belt, a paddle brush and dirt - the swept up kind that has gathered all manner of matter with it; stones, cigarette butts, drink cans. Objects we have become used to discovering upon city grass, and personal objects. Composed as a scene, we are offered a departure, a chance to associate ourselves with them, but cannot take it. Sterilised by the heavy, black backdrop, a barrier is created, the objects are defamiliarised. Dominic Hawgood’s series of photographs The Beginning of The End presents the constructed moment captured momentarily. Their composure is unreal, uncomfortable, static. And it is fleeting. Where old balloons hang limply upon a chair decorated by disintegrating webs, rusting tins of oil and a tacky toy horse, we recognise something
nostalgic, domestic but are shown it perverted, transformed by lighting, by staging and the clever placement of ‘things’. We are presented with the cinematic. And this production is maintained throughout the images, manipulating our comprehension of reality, making unreality, where a photograph of bustling greenery perfectly silhouetting the rooftops beyond, an uncanny accident of nature, becomes entirely untrustworthy by the images that accompany it. But for Hawgood it is this staging of objects that is the most interesting, if unsettling. In traversing the line of the studio, they become entirely unnatural, they become performers, and in doing so make vulnerable the compositions we manifest around us everyday.
Text by Emily Beber
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, DOMINIC HAWGOOD, 2014