Does every object have meaning? A story? A purpose?
Jonathan Bagby analyzes this straight away in his artists statement; “Nothing has fixed meaning beyond interpretation; reality is only defined by the relationship between phenomena.” When Bagby immortalizes these objects, they are given a life and a backstory. We wonder at their history and how they came to be in front of Bagby’s lense.
He uses a sound understanding of mise-en-scene to arrange these objects in their own corner of the world and give them a sense of place. The use of natural or studio lighting cements whether these are found objects or natural oddities, stumbled upon by accident. There is a shrine-like quality to Bagby’s photographs that places an almost religious significance on objects such as child’s athletic trophies, garden hose and old car doors.
Jonathan Bagby’s photo series read like the auction catalogue of the ramshackle estate of a deceased dowager, or a visual representation of Ways of Seeing. An English countryside landscape is forlornly dumped inside an old banana box, a used paint palette is lit and posed like a Renaissance nude.
What could these objects possibly mean, and how could we understand their purpose? Bagby speaks in silences, urging us to impose our own thoughts and feelings on these everyday items.
Words/ Ruby Giles