STIRRING THE HUMAN EYE
Light and its absence create a poetic and lyrical world in the photography of Stephen Champion. His works reflect on the magnificence of alterations and dimensions resulting to the nature of photography as affidavits of facts albeit exposed to the viewer in presenting an array of perspectives in observing the world. Stephen’s photographs featured in these pages present unique stories through which light has played a critical role in giving form to the artist’s evaluation when looked upon acutely. “You are the photograph,” he states in boldness.
Pursuing his BA in Photography from the Arts Institute of Bournemouth and MFS from the Arts Institute San Francisco in 1984, Stephen returned to London to practice photography as a freelance portrait photographer for leading magazines and media of the time. “I used simple light sources, the sun, and moon and occasionally a flashlight or torch and the ‘ambient’. I also used color, black and white negative film, and an old fixed lens mirrored camera, as I still do today” states Stephen in relation to the impact of light in characterizing his artistic vision. He developed a personal method of photographing in lowlight, which played a significant role when capturing personal manifestations from indoor to outdoor spaces. “I observe nature’s play; whether a shaft of light, a dark sky, gust of wind or sound of thunder, whatever the weather, place and time, they all stir the soul and an image is born of the combinations”. The artist perceives the natural phenomena and bewildering atmosphere to stir his imagination in which photography becomes art through its unique way of seeing a world invisible to the human eye.
Photography is best described as a lifestyle where Stephen explores his intuition of “seeing” the world. We emphasize on the term “seeing”, for Stephen interprets beauty lying in the eye of the beholder. This notion is further elaborated as Stephen reveals each person’s perception of color as unique and personal yet similar at the same time. His experience of artistry is to feel and observe the drama of nature from the colors, light, shade, texture, construction, image, material and sound as an expression of his vision. “Light is particularly difficult to control in the analogue world” he states. Light bright or dark creates feelings, creates atmosphere and theatre. His portrait of artist Jo Alison (1981) exemplifies his notion of following the path of light and its hidden depths as it illuminates with shadow, silhouette, reflection, clarity, depth and darkness. The raw definition that light, not despite its form “enables us to see and create”.
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