Enjoy the bizarre, erotic and narrative Victorian salon style photographic art of Nick Simpson. Visit his website to view more of his work.
My art seeks to visually express a fascination with stories steeped in the bizarre, the erotic and the fantastic. Stories are told through an eclectic collection of clues – fictional objects, artifacts and curiosities – which cause the narrative to hover between the real and the imaginary.
By meticulous planning, these richly detailed photographic tableaux are devised to invite the viewer to at first question, and then piece together the whole story for themselves.
In this latest body of work, “The Bumforth Manor Collection” I present a collection of photographs that look as though they were recently discovered in the attic of an imagined, long-deceased relative.
I have borrowed heavily from the Victorians using cues and objects seemingly from that era.
The resulting images highlight a shared obsession with the unusual and the obscure, the dark and the inexplicable, creating stories that exploit ironic notions of colonialism, pomp, and the impact of the industrial revolution.
The apparatus I have chosen to use to create these works – an original 1867 Petzval lens mated to a full plate mahogany view camera of similar vintage – further immerses us into the world of Victorian salon photography, giving an authenticity that connects the process with the final artwork.
I shoot all scenes in-camera and the resulting original picture is made in a single sitting on one photographic plate.
Everything in my pictures is real, especially when incongruous or unexpected.
Hand painting, scratching and distressing add a patina to the plates, giving the illusion of historical provenance, adding further credibility to the suggestion that the picture really might be a nineteenth century artifact.
I invite the viewer to revel in these fantasies for their amusement, delight and surprise.