Working from carefully selected photographs, Thomas Cameron’s ‘snapshots’ stop us in our tracks; that scene you’ve passed every day on your way to work is re-framed. The casual Polaroid snapshot is made glorious and celebrated in the style of a classic oil painting.
His subject is the stuff that surrounds us – that makes up our everyday lives. By heightening the colour and detail, so that an eerie atmospheric beauty emerges from the crumbling bricks and stained paintwork, he suggests the extraordinary within the ordinary.
We see the everyday through new eyes; we re-imagine our surroundings. A bigger story is suggested, for if these intentionally familiar ‘unseen’ surroundings can transcend into other worldliness and shine so brightly, what else might be possible?
Cameron works with images of the seemingly ordinary, places and situations that are often overlooked due to their familiarity. Working with a wide range of reference materials and subjects. His recent work has focused on paintings of interiors, urban scenes or simple holiday snapshots. In these a momentary expression or a glow of sunlight imbue the works with an unexpected grandeur. A keen sense of narrative and cinematic imagery inform Cameron’s approach and lend an element of mystery and intrigue, inviting the viewer to question why this image was selected, what the story is behind it and around this moment in time, whilst simultaneously evoking their own shared narratives, memories and imagination. Cameron’s artistic process involves carefully selecting images whether that be photographs he has taken or ‘found’ imagery, and subsequently merging and editing them as well as combining imagined elements. The materiality of oil paint is an inherent and important aspect of the work; the tactile quality and versatility of the medium lends itself to subtle lighting effects and realism. These slowly resolved paintings represent a balance between the controlled nature of oil paint whilst allowing its scope for chance and spontaneity during the painting process, and the careful selection of imagery by the artist alongside the happenstance and often surprising quality of a snapshot.