Friday, 30 March 2012

The Abstract Truth

My old art teacher at school told me once that photography could not be abstract; tied as it was to reality. He was probably unaware of the work of photographers like Pete Turner who were pushing the barriers back in the 60s and certainly had no inkling of the possibilities which would be brought by the advent of digital photography in future decades. He probably already realised that I was one of the awkward squad. 


"In Mrs Little's Lightroom"

"The Way"


"Rhythm Of The City"

"Farmyard Flamenco"

( The jazz arranger and saxophonist Oliver Nelson once created an album called "Blues And The Abstract Truth". I've no idea what he meant by the term in relation to music but "Abstract Truth"  seems to fit these photos.)

Take care.


  1. Yes, just got to keep your eyes open... Funny how we remember those definite statements that teachers made that were just plain wrong.

  2. Yes well your art teacher hadn't reckoned on the changes in technology; who could've imagined where we are today with it all? Your images are those of Pete Turner or …? You've beckoned a creative spark; we call all try a little bit of this John! Some of those photos that didn't quite turn out right could sure make the grade in the make it abstract arenas.

  3. I hope the title of the first one wasn't your grade for the class! Most interesting work, John. I have found that anything that challenges the status quo will be resisted by small-minded people. Every great scientific discovery has been greeted with resistance from the then scientific establishment, or at least from the church (which at one time was the same body).

  4. You ought to send some of these to your old teacher. He ought to have understood that it is the artist, not the medium which is important.

  5. Abstract truth is a concept I shall have to think about very carefully John - it is rather complicated. But i love the photographs.

  6. John, these are extraordinary! I love your use of color. Pete Turner is one of my all time favorites, and has influenced my work, as he has many others.

  7. These are exceptional, John. Every now and then I try to capture something like these, but when I look at them later, they seem uninteresting. Not these!

  8. Beautiful images, John. Thanks for sharing.

  9. We're being a bit unfair on my art teacher who was a delightful man of great wisdom. He taught me a great deal about art and life in general. Interestingly another of his pronouncements was that the great thing about education was finding that your teachers are often wrong! I've heard it said that he was an influence on the early music of the Pink Floyd, he certainly would have taught Syd Barrett and Roger Waters who both went on to art school before becoming famous.


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'll try to answer any questions via a comment or e-mail within the next day or two (no hard questions, please!).