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Cameron Haynes was one of the artist talks we have had recently.

Fine art/Image Maker/Graphic Designer & Photographer

His work dealt with manipulating the technical things in which the camera can do. In some of these early images he even manipulates his own work. One of the more interesting ideas in which fascinated me was the use of baking soda/Parchment being put into the printer and then printed on. Also acetate, as I’ve used this in much of my fine art work in the past few years.

Cameron’s Series “What it means to be…” is one which relates to gender politics and ethnic origin. Like a lot of his work it covers the concept of identity and looks into of the idea visual psychology. Understanding what it means to be different, identity and culture all included in this series. In some ways the work links to Leah Gordon’s work and her “Cast” series, it has a similar sensibility to it and concept of what we visually see & various cultures.

Another series of his work which I found interesting was “Nobody knows my name”. It uses appropriated imagery and various archived photographs. It looks into the concept of performative portrait. The idea that people look into your surroundings but not you as a person if your sitting for a photo. This series challenges social Conditioning and uses masks to cover up identity, which is an idea that I have used in my previous work.

His current work includes a video project called “Casting Shadows” it uses achieved imagery and sound. Although the video seems to come across as something comical, it actually represents the concept of black people immigrating/contains a family portrait of a black family. It’s a Juxtaposition. The over voice in the video is a TV speech in which states that black families should be looked down upon and are dirt etc. Completely challenged today’s society and view on the black minority. This video is archival but is also process driven, Cameron sourced out the photos over time and purchased albums to use within the piece.

His work treads around the delicate subject of racial boundaries, and he questions whether or not if he takes away the aesthetics from his work does it make it more uncomfortable to look at, does it indeed make him a victim of his own circumstance. I believe his work is interesting to view and although sometimes hard to understand I get where he’s coming from, he wants the controversy/reaction its what makes his work what it is. It’s always healthy to have a bit of controversy within your work after all.

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