Bite! magazine » Gordon MacDonald

Homelessness, Social Exclusion and War Injuries

I began taking photographs when I was a young soldier and at a time when I knew little about photography. I just had this urge to document what was going on around me.

I have now been out of the British Army over 15 years, but it is an area that still dominates my photographic practice and my imagination.

As part of this ongoing interest I have chosen to document the after-effects of conflict and the knock-on consequences back home in the UK.

From severe injuries of war to the problems of homelessness and social exclusion, I hope that this work questions notion of what it means to enlist to serve ones country, and what is left for servicemen at the end of this dangerous and altruistic act.

Cartoon-like Exaggerations

I enjoy making lo-fi props out of inexpensive materials, generally card and poster paint, taking something cheap and readily available like cardboard and transforming it into loud brightly coloured backdrops that can be easily carried from place to place.

In this series I have tried to paint patterns or make shapes that would encourage the participant to hold themselves or act in a certain way. It is important that all the props and text are in the shot so that the subject can interact with them.

The cardboard acts as cartoon-like element exaggerating the things that are already there, making the invisible visible or just simply transforming an everyday setting into a DIY fantasy world.

An Acceptance Of How Things Are

Shafran’s work is characterised by the quiet observation of everyday life. His chosen subject matter is deliberately low-key and often domestic in nature: the washing up, his Dad’s office, charity shops, car boot sales. And yet, his work extracts something profound and consistently beautiful, the sense of a natural order in ordinary things, or, as Shafran says ‘an acceptance of how things are’ (source: Steidl).

Human Nature’s Instinct To Both Create And Destroy

On Chaology. This series grew from a fascination with the visual power of the photographed explosion. These silent and still forms are created from images of explosions caught at a point of expansion. Source material includes the received images from Hiroshima, nuclear tests, the space shuttle disaster, burning oil and white phosphorus bombs. The sculptural forms are created from cotton wool, talcum powder, paint and pipe cleaners.

Anti-Glamorous and De-Illusionised

In this stark body of work Harry Watts hopes to literally strip away the glamorous and illusional. The studio space is potentially, yet invisibly occupied by objects which exist only as a aid to the visual creation, rather than meant to be seen as themselves. Created and coated in grey light absorbing materials these objects stand mono-chromic in a empty person-less studio.

The Loss And Rebirth Of My Family

Glen Erler: Family Tree is a project about the loss and rebirth of my family. I moved from Southern California to England fourteen years ago and while visiting family members back home, I started photographing the people and places that were important in the shaping of who I am today.While I’ve been living in England, many of my relatives on both my fathers and mothers sides have passed away. This made me realize the impact death has on the lives of those remaining.