Atmosphere

by Verity Woolf



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These series of photographs represent a journey. I always take photographs that have a story inside them in their own right. I want the viewer to look at them and create their own individual narrative. The world today has forgotten how to use our imagination, we conform to the ways of society without asking questions.

I have deliberately chosen not to address the issues and topics that affect everyday life, because most of these are either political or environmental, appealing to people’s conscience but only to a certain level, and creating a sense of guilt. Instead, I wish to dig deeper into the subconscious, creating images that are not immediately comprehensible and cannot easily be distinguished. I hope to stir deeper emotions that may be hidden, suppressed and more spiritual in origin.

All my photographs have to have an atmospheric quality – whether this is to make the viewer feel uncomfortable, disturbed, interested or intrigued. The images contain hidden depths, so the deeper you look the more meanings you derive from them. My intention is to provoke a reaction from the audience – with a gradual, not an immediate, effect. I approach my work with the underlying aim of reflecting the darker emotions of the mind.

There is no point I am trying to get across in my photographs, I simply want the atmosphere and mystery of the story to come alive, and for people to question. We need to understand that the world we live in is an amazing place and would we should never take advantage of it. The interplay between natural light and shadow and the mysterious atmosphere of dark woods and abandoned buildings are the inspiration behind this collection of images.

My vivid imagination brings a haunting, dreamlike quality to my images: things glimpsed but not quite seen, sensed but not defined. I draw on my own deeper memories and often act on impulse, timing longer exposures by instinct, pushing digital cameras to their limits and experimenting with film processing methods.

My aim is to dig deep into the darker side of the subconscious, drawing the viewer into my images with perhaps a feeling of intrigue or even apprehension, leading us to view everyday objects or landscapes from a new perspective of heightened consciousness. I hope to stir emotions that may be hidden or suppressed, even spiritual in origin. My intention is to provoke a reaction that has a gradual, instead of an immediate, effect.

Editor’s Note – Anil Cherukupalli
There is a world of half-remembered dreams and mysterious instincts that is inherent to humanity. A sudden slant of light here or a tiny detail jutting out somewhere can suddenly drown us in a host of memories and feelings that we can’t always explain rationally. While inhabiting what we like to refer to as reality we are simultaneously exposed to a half-world that is both the cradle and graveyard of our subconscious. It is this curious world that Verity’s essay ‘Atmosphere’ brings to mind and also inhabits. There is no clear narrative running through it that you can pinpoint. But still her photographs reel you in with their alluring mysteries.

 

Each photo is a cipher that only you can decipher. It is this haunting quality of the essay that drives it forward. Taken together the essay tugs at something deep and dark within you. And that is when you begin to admire the photographer’s ability to arrest your attention with photos that you can’t quite explain. You lose yourself in her world, completely absorbed in a story that only you can put words to.

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About Verity Woolf
Verity Woolf specialized in photography during her BA (Honours) degree in Fine Art at Leeds Metropolitan University. Naturally creative, she experimented with a wide range of media, and she loves her vintage Nikon F2s just as much as her digital Canon equipment.

Since leaving University, Verity has helped to set up a professional wedding photography business (Sansom Photography) with her partner, Chris Sansom. In her spare time, however, she still enjoys the excitement of discovering new subjects and possibilities. As she explains: “ I can create my own worlds and my own ideas of reality... my camera is my paintbrush.”

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