18 January 2018 Comment
The works of Sumpton are immediately transportive in their cinematic and hyper-real nature. Clear references can be made to Gregory Crewdson, Bronek Kozka and Cindy Sherman (despite Sumpton choosing not to appear in any of the photographs himself, the nature of creating a cinema still is strongly linked to Sherman.) Sumpton has created moments from his life and represented them through fully staged cinematic stills. An ominous motif of aquamarine lighting can be seen threading these works together and creating a surreal, theatrical and dream-like presence. The most successful images tread a balance between ominous and playful – such as the girl sitting on the toilet, sombre expression, lit by a beam of eerie lime light, surrounded by a 1970’s daisy wallpaper liken to a Takashi Murakami artwork.
The finish of the photographic prints are sublime and the framing is professional and clean. Mister Morris studio gallery space is transformed into a cinematic 1970’s movie set living room, with chocolate brown lazy armchairs, parlour fern and billowing lace curtains. By entering the space, you are complicit in becoming a figure within this broken, disorienting narrative being told on the walls. The studios are an exciting space in Preston and the gallery space is a beautiful and professional section, which has much potential for exhibiting artists. We highly recommend you head over and check out the exhibition and the space.
From the Midsumma website: A photographic exploration of identity and perception.In his debut solo exhibition, photographer Steve Sumpton recreates moments from his life that have helped shape the way he identifies with the LGBTQIA+ community. Manipulating visual cues to separate himself from these vivid, Crewdson-esque images, he invites you to connect with his work without restriction. Showing us that it isn’t the moments that define us but the ways and intensities in which we experience them, this series brings an awareness to the role perception plays on our identity.
Steve is an emerging contemporary fine art photographer living in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne. Starting his career as a commercial graphic artist, photography has given him the freedom to allow concept to take the lead in his work while still maintaining a strong emphasis on technique. Drawing inspiration from the works of Gregory Crewdson, he creates images that use the mystery of unknown narratives to invite the audience to see a new perspective. His images play with vibrant colours and mixed lighting to exaggerate the world around us in order to bring simple concepts into focus.