Michael Ashley

Visual Arts etc.

Small Tragedies - 2013

An open-ended project of street photography using the camera on my smartphone.

Details

Inkjet prints: Each collage element is 17 in. x 22 in., archival ink on archival paper

Artist's Statement

There is a saying that the best camera is the one you have with you. The images in the “Small Tragedies” series were all captured with a camera phone. I came across these unfortunates while out walking in my neighbourhood. Many of them didn’t even register at first, as my brain was preoccupied with “getting somewhere”. Then my visual cortex kicked in and directed my feet back so I could look more closely at the creature on the walkway. Given their insignificance, I felt it only proper to print their images at monumental proportions.

The “Small Tragedies” pictures have passed beyond Cartier-Bresson's decisive moment. They are, rather, records of the aftermath of some decisive event that took place “offstage”, the effects of which linger but are soon wiped away by the passage of other feet or the next rainstorm.

Although my artistic practice includes sculpture, new media, and video, photography remains my first love. I’m usually carrying a camera with me during my travels. I consider this to be an open-ended series as I keep bumping into these moments when I least expect them. I hope that I remain aware enough to continue to see them.