|Place of Birth||London|
BioLisa Furness – photographing emptiness
My pictures are all concerned with the nature of presence and absence. They are images devoid of human subjects but they are intended as universal, representing all people.
My camera strives to catch the traces we leave as we live our lives: both the epic in scale, and the tiny and fragile.
The subjects I always return to are those of non-places and in-between times. Underpasses, vacant buildings, staircases, toilets and others, these places are created by us and ignored or passed through. They gradually take on their own identity, a history connected not to any one of us individually but as an accumulation of our interconnected lives.
If I approach them with my eyes open they whisper their secrets to me and I capture them, if I can, and present them to you.
These pictures were created in rejection of our glossy, surface-obsessed, collagen culture. Born as a response to our culture’s dependency on fake tans and fake smiles, wealth and celebrity, and its refusal to accept the human truths of aging, loneliness and death.
I want to peel back the curtain of modern preoccupations and allow people to contemplate the complexity and strangeness of the real world behind the scenes. With our restless and shortening attention spans, the truths we ignore, forget and abandon wait patiently for us to return.
As well as a reaction to our shallow and distracted consumer lifestyle, these images are intended as an antidote to it. They reward a patient viewer, creating a solemn, quiet space for the mind to wander slowly.
The pictures are about us. We are in all of them, and their emptiness is an invitation to enter the scene and contemplate and reflect upon ourselves, intended like ancient Chinese and Japanese ink drawings to provide a visual focus for meditation.
They are deeply personal to me, representing my own emotional experience of being in these places and contemplating them. Their peacefulness acts as a calming presence in my life, grounding and uplifting me at the same time.
They are an attempt to express my feelings about the world that I can’t put into words. Ours is a world of solemn mysteries and complex truths to which we are intrinsically connected.
We can sometimes comprehend a little bit of it if we stand quietly.
2011 “Empty Spaces - My Obsession”, TalkPhoto. Bristol, December 2011.
2011 “Lensbaby - My New Toy!”, TalkPhoto. Bristol, November 2011.
2011 “Gordon Parks - My Hero”, TalkPhoto. Bristol, June 2011.
2011 “I Love My Box Brownie”, TalkPhoto. Bristol, April 2011.
2011 “Dianne Arbus Makes Me Want To Cry”, TalkPhoto. Bristol, March 2011.
2010 “Art v Documentary - The Great Objectivity Debate”, TalkPhoto. Bristol, November 2010.