Rowan Corkill is a 22 year old artist living in Fife, just outside St. Andrews. A recent graduate of Gray’s School of Art (BA Hons in Photography and Electronic Media), he prefers not to be asked anything about cameras as “I wouldn’t have a clue”!
Ever since seeing the work of Marcel Duchamp Joseph Cornell and Richard Rosenberg he was immediately fascinated by the use of everyday objects. This became a reoccuring aspect in his own work and whilst in second year at Gray’s a vernacular photography project opened up the idea of using found pictres – artists Richard Prince and Christian Boltanski becoming huge influences.
According to artist: “Whilst most spent their student loans on booze and clothes etc…I spent mine on old family photographs, army regimental images, post-mortem photos, taxidermy and pieces of strange old medical equipment, half of which I still don’t know the use of! This meant spending my days trailing through antique stores and junk shops, as well as using Ebay as a vital source! This may seem like complete junk to most people but to me these are pieces of art in their own right. When it comes to my work I often try to make small and simple alterations such as pocking eye holes into images or using collage to swap eyes in a masked effect (notice the theme!). Although simple, I often find these techniques to be the most effective creating thought provoking and sometimes quite beautiful images.
Within my use of family images that I found I have been fascinated by the memories that are held within these types of images and the way in which they are lost when departed from their original owners. On a less serious note, I also enjoy creating surreal collage works using Victorian pictorial archive images along with medical illustrations conjuring up strange creatures and faces similar to the eccentric works of Arcimboldo. I love the freedom and randomness of chance that is created through collage as well as the lack of extreme theory and meaning (which is always nice!)”