This year I will begin my experimentation with photography merchandise by publishing a set of Christmas cards.
I’ve tried to produce a set of amusing images documenting what Christmas means to us here in Britain. I hope people will think the cards are unusual enough to buy.
For a long time I’ve had an interest in how people look at photographs.
There have been great changes in this area, most notably in the way family albums have been replaced by on-line collections viewed in solitude through a computer screen but by more people than would have been invited to sit next to the owner as they turned page after page of a hardbook archive.
A great image has the power to captivate and inspire wonder but viewing an image as a photographic work is probably the least popular way we view photography.
Images are consumed in newspapers (used to attract the eye and lead us to the text) or feature within the pages of magazines, primarily in adverts and on food packets and labels. But in these instances the image is not the primary reason it is being viewed.
I’ve been fascinated to watch how my images and videos have attracted attention on the internet through sites like flickr, facebook, vimeo and YouTube. Videos are far more popular than images – they receive more hits and have the potential to register many more views. People will actively sit and watch videos but seeking out images apparently offers less of an attraction – or should that be distraction.
That has lead some artists to experiment with their images and the way they are promoted. This can be by producing short videos of still images, often with sound or music. And it can lead to the merchandising of an image, where the object promotes the image (a photo mug) rather than the image promoting the object (a tin of beans).
I intend to explore this theme through canvas prints, mugs plates and food over the coming months. I’ve been inspired by people like Takashi Murakami, a Japanese artist who has market his works in the form of everyday commercial goods.