Jack Dicken Photography

About Jack

Jack is currently a student at Southampton Solent University studying a Bachelor of Arts in Photography. He is an enthusiastic photographer who is interested in a mix of commercial and art images. Highly capable with digital and analogue techniques Jack is trained in darkroom procedures such as C41 film processing, ID11 and D76 film processing and RA4 colour printing. He is also proficient with software such as Adobe Photoshop CS6, Adobe Bridge CS6, Adobe Lightroom 3 and Capture One. Jack works with landscape, portraiture and still life work. His landscape works are a mixture of detailed works and grander night-time architecture. His still life works are reminiscent of Dutch Golden Age still life painting as well as being able to produce simplistic commercial style lighting. His portrait works are plain, soft and unemotional. He lights and composes all of his images, and is confident with studio lighting for both portraits and still life.

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Artist Statement

My work is split into sections, playing to the traditions of the separation between landscape, portraiture and still life. I feel the separation of disciplines allows for my work to progress in different directions. Dutch golden age painting and modern commercial product photography influence my still life work. Gursky and Holdsworth influence my landscape, while Bailey and Dijkstra influence my portraits.

The first show I had in a public gallery was one at the Southampton City Art Gallery and this helped me to see my work in a public space and how it fit amongst the other work. The main effect this had was to make me think critically about my work and to think about how it would fit in with the work around it and with any other works already out there

One of my most recent projects was a still life work based around the “Dutch Golden Age” painters such as Pieter Claesz and Willem Claeszoon Heda, who painted “Breakfast pieces”. Classic tabletop paintings of food, most of which also contained moralities or life lessons. This led me to photograph similar setups with cloth, some basic foods and a wine glass in order to create a modern tribute to the Dutch classics. After producing this I worked with a company called Sailor Apparel to photograph a lighter they were putting on sale. To achieve this I looked at modern commercial product photography and played with various items such as coffee beans, a bowl of fruit and a plant in order to gain the skills required to photograph the lighter.

Eyes are, in my opinion, the best part of a portrait. To look directly into a strangers eyes without concerning yourself with social conduct or the uncomfortable silence often shared with strangers in lifts or on public transport. I produce soft and simple portraits, which show the subjects uninterested and deadpan, as they would be whilst going about the trivialities of daily happenings.

I find going against the tradition is often an interesting way to photograph things, whilst on a photographic trip to Snowdonia in Wales last year I photographed the National Park with a Mamiya RB67 using only F5.6 to create images that focused more on a subject. I tried to avoid the stereotypical way in which a picturesque place like Snowdonia is normally photographed.

The first time I took a photograph at night it was mainly a technical exercise to figure out how to correctly expose something when it had fallen beyond the readings of a light meter. The images I captured of a local retail park captured my imagination and led me to the work of Dan Holdsworth. I was enthralled by the observatory nature of his works “California” and “A Machine for Living”. I continued to work on night time images by producing a series made in a suburban area which was presented as a book. I also continued this work by photographing in Southampton once I had moved there for university.

“Nexus” is a series of images focusing on the dilapidations of basketball courts that I have played on during my life. It is a representation of my enjoyment of the game of basketball and my resentment that it receives such little attention from both the public and the sporting media in the UK. The three courts in the series are from various points in my life, from living with my parents, to attending college, and finally when I moved to Southampton to attend university. The images are entitled “Nexus Park, Ash”, “Osborne Road, Farnborough” and “Mayflower Park, Southampton”. The word “Nexus” means a form of connection or tie between things, and can also mean the centre of things. This title is relevant as it is the name of the park, where the first court on which I ever played basketball is situated, and it also refers to the link between the images.