Jamaican artist, Nigel Scott, is one of a handful of eminent contemporary photographers who have turned back the clock and invested much time and energy in nineteenth century photographic methods. Nigel is a photographer who sees not only an image, but a finely crafted print.
This mode of making photographs, like the technique of “shadow picturing”, or the art of cutting silhouettes in black paper so popular at the beginning of Atkins century, actually point towards one of the principal tenets of twentieth century modernism; the replacement of the Renaissance ideal of composing pictures in some sort of imagined depth with a method of composing virtually on the picture plane. The photogram is in fact simply another method of “shadow picturing”. This is, of course, what Nigel exploits to full advantage. His aesthetics may at times mimic Atkins nineteenth century way of composing, but at others will adopt undeniably twentieth century modes as well.
The title "Conversations with Blue" is a dialogue between him and the ocean and nature, and a message toward people looking at the book. For the most part the natural objects that Nigel utilizes, mostly ?owers, ferns and leaves, are care-fully chosen for their shape and occasional transparencies. The substrates on which the cyanotypes are realized, either top quality Arches paper or a variety of silks, including a gold-coloured silk, are also carefully matched with the objects. All is arranged with the deft simplicity and precision of an ikebana artist. As you may see in his large pieces is a line in the middle which divides the piece. Nigel refers to this as a "horizon". He first got this idea when he was in the water waiting for waves but this technique did give further depth into his works, creating a new dimension.
Nigel Scott has exhibited at the National Gallery on two occasions: the 2006 and 2008 National Biennial Exhibitions. The three works in 2006 were photograms close in spirit to many in his book.
David Boxer (paraphrased)
The National Gallery of Jamaica
Known for his fashion work since the early 80?s, Scott continues to investigate a world of his own invention as a photographer. Scott’s reverence for the places he lives (Paris, New York and Toronto) is continually returned with photographic inspiration. Currently he lives and works in New York, USA.
Nigel first started cyanotype as an homage to memories of his mother who loved flowers and plants. After he started surfing, his thoughts towards water became very important, which resulted in connecting the blue of the water and the blue of the prints within himself. For Nigel blue is a quiet, friendly and tranquil color. He also said hopefully people will link the blue to the environment and the ocean since there is only one ocean, and everything ends up there.
Hand-coated Arches Platine
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