Eye to Eye VI
– Monologues and Artwork by Laura Kerr and Simon Ashmore –
The following interactive series of photographs, monologues and polls continues the international collaboration begun in our 2021, “Visibility” themed edition of Monologging. I initially embarked upon this venture with UK-based photographer, Simon Ashmore, in late 2020. Via Twitter, we had invented a speaking game geared at exploring the ever-daunting process of titling photographs. Our ambition was to muse openly about each other’s work and to record spontaneous monologues on our phones during spirited Zoom calls. “Eye to Eye,” as we came to call the project, was at once a revelatory experience. Not only did our spoken stream-of-consciousness evoke individual artistic processes, and foundational inspirations, we were equally spell-bound to hear each other interpret new imagery upon first glance. Challenged to steer our monologues to culminate in the proposal of two possible titles for each image, we planned to invite readers to decide between the four titles we’d come up with together in online polls. This year we’ve expanded our vision for “Eye to Eye” to go beyond the realm of photography, including other expressive, visual arts media. We were pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with Canadian artist Laura Kerr and Ireland-based artist, Becca Thorne. The below presentation pairs Simon with Laura. Viewers are invited to tour a unique gallery, listen to the featured artists muse collaboratively about possible
titles for work, and then to provide a decisive verdict in the accompanying polls. Thanks for playing!
– Jeffrey F. Barken
Laura Kerr is an award-winning Canadian visual artist and poet. In 2012, she was honoured with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her art & continued contributions to art education. She is co-owner of Paradise art, an art school in Winnipeg, Manitoba specializing in classical and contemporary art education where she has taught both youth and adults for over 25 years. Throughout her career, Laura has had a deep interest in merging digital technology with traditional mediums. As technologies have advanced so has the degree to which those mediums have merged in her work. This has resulted in her journey into visual poetry which seeks to develop a new language of expression that advances our understanding of our relationships with technology in a way that does not subsume the brilliance of our analog expression. These generative images are a mix media of painting, drawing and digital photography. Laura deploys a variety of digital techniques and technologies in experimental ways allowing her to leverage their particular strengths but through their combination ensures the artists hand is directing the work and not the software itself. These digital mediums and the process she employs allows for unexpected new outcomes through “mad art/technology experiments”.
Simon Ashmore is a British visual artist who combines a range of techniques, typically including some photographic elements, to create expressive and often abstract images. Simon worked for many years as an editorial and documentary photographer “padding the streets with a battered Nikon”. But more recently he has found his artistic voice not in the representational qualities of traditional photography, but in the intriguing ambiguity of shape, structure and colour. Time, memory, mortality and hope are reoccurring themes in his work. Simon exhibits widely and his first book ‘I Am Not The Rain’ was published in 2020 by Kozu Press. Follow Simon on Twitter @siashmore and on Instagram.