b. 1994, Joel Biddle is a photographic artist working in Kent, United Kingdom. A recent photography graduate of the Arts University of Bournemouth, his work is an exploration of the contrast between the still and the fluid, the harsh texture of geological structures and the glassy smooth of the surface of the sea. His work follows a search for a calming sense of tranquillity and a sense of quiet that reflects the locations in the works. These fractures of time transport the viewer to an unknown, with an absence of context being important.
A sense of isolation is established, but its not a bleak isolation, its more of a break from chaos, a choice rather than something forced. My latest work is about attempting to create something sacred. The romantic ideal, something unobtainable and timeless, is something I find difficult to avoid in my photography but is something I have found to only when I avoid any colour in my work. Using monochrome seems to allow me to see clearly and focus on composition.
On first glance the work appears to focus on the coast and sea stacks as a subject, but this was something that came about naturally rather than being the intention from the beginning. There’s a graphic quality to using something with harsh edges and high contrast whilst being surrounded by a plain of smooth water.
The graphic quality, use of monochrome and choice of subject all add together to produce a work that is basic and complicated simultaneously.
The greatest difficulty with producing this work has been ruthlessly discarding so many photographs that miss the target of the project by millimeters. A small change in the weather could be enough to warrant removal. Repeated visits to the same location has been a necessity to produce a cohesive series.
The feeling I look to establish depends on the viewer; some see the subjects I photograph as lonely and isolated, discarded, whereas others see a subject that stands alone and interprets that as a sign of strength. I try to capture something ethereal and timeless, with context reduced, sometimes to the extent that even scale becomes unclear. These concepts seem to instil a sense of tranquillity and calm, maybe because the compositions are clear of clutter so the mind becomes clear as a result.
To view more of Joel Biddle’s work please visit his website.