About the Artist - Syl Ojalla
My practice is essentially concerned with human potential and transcendence. The work has undoubtedly been influenced by my unconventional upbringing and is primarily focused on personal growth and higher states of consciousness. The perspective being that of an ‘outsider’ or ‘observer’.
The purpose of the work is collective growth and photography has become the means of communication - permitting introspection, probing and questioning. And ultimately challenging the beliefs and perceptions that limit and confine us to an unfulfilled and limited existence.
I am self-taught and have been developing my art practice since studying towards an MA Photography at the University of Brighton (2018). The work touches upon themes of spirituality, the sublime and the anthropocene. Inspiration comes mostly from philosophy, psychology and neuroscience. The work draws upon areas of study which promote self-betterment, liberation, human connection and a better planetary future - posing questions such as: How do we better align ourselves with nature? Can we raise our collective consciousness by liberating ourselves from oppressive conditioning and constructs? And where do we collectively go from here? These are just a few of the questions being posed by my work.
As part of the practice, I make photographic images by combining both medium and large format analogue and digital imaging technologies. The image is often the result of an intuitive technological process of 'working' the base image until the desired aesthetic is achieved. This is often an experimental digital process which can create effects such as solarisation, tone changes & alternative photographic process looks. Prints are made using natural fibre archival papers - mostly Japanese Washi, Agava and Bamboo for their texture and longevity. Each print is treated as an 'object' in it's own right and draws on the Japanese tradition & aesthetic of 'wabi-sabi' - impermanence, imperfection and natural beauty.
Although I believe photography is in itself inconsequential in many ways, it is the physical manifestation of an inner intuitive process driving the work forward which is of most interest to me - this inner resource and the infinite potential we all have within us.
2021 Source Photography Graduate Online 2021 (Online)
2021 University of Brighton (Edward Street Campus), MA Graduation 1st - 17th September
2021 'In a Silent Way' Regency Townhouse (Brunswick Square, Hove), Iris Collective Group Show 20th - 26th September
2020 Brighton Photo Fringe, Iris Photography Collective Group Show 3rd-31st October 2020.
2015 Firestation Arts & Culture (Windsor) - Solo Show
2014 Lemonade Gallery (Windsor) - ‘A New Europe’ Group Show
2013 Gallery at ICE (Windsor) - ‘It’s not all black and white’ Group Show
Photography through the Lockdown panel discussion chaired by Francis Hodgkins 2021 (University of Brighton)