Wales Arts Review‘s Artist in Residence, Rory Duckhouse, challenges us by asking ‘What makes this landscape beautiful? What makes these portraits so picture-perfect?’ Throughout 2017 artists, including Rory Duckhouse will take a leading creative role in what Wales Arts Review publishes, centring their skills on a challenging project over the course of a month. We were inundated with applications, receiving hundreds of emails about the positions, and it was no easy task whittling down all that talent to this final eleven. Our team of six editors debated long into the night, and in the end, we decided on a collection of people who we most want to work with, and whose work excites us. We think you will be excited by them too.
Rory Duckhouse is an artist and writer based in Cardiff, Wales. Rory’s work looks at ideas of information and control, his mixed-media practice works across image and text to look at how our behaviour can be influenced by external factors. Trained as a photographer, his work is concerned with our relationship to photography and how the photograph is perceived as a document. Taking the photograph as a piece of information, he looks at how the layering of time has an effect on the veracity of the image. Photography is a powerful medium, both personally and in the media but is very much a subjective art form. We create more images now than ever before, but what is the legacy of these images and how could this information be misused? Using this as a platform, Rory’s work explores the space between photography, history, information, control & technology amongst many other ideas.
During this residency, Rory will be working on a number of image-based and text works for his upcoming exhibition at the Oriel Davies testbed space. He will be working on a series of participatory artworks that will be sent out in the post as an extension of the gallery show. These works will include proposals, crosswords and other work developed through the residency.
The work ‘What makes this landscape beautiful? What makes these portraits so picture-perfect?’ Is a collection of images that have been made from appropriated photographic manuals and how-to guides that look at how our visual language has been created so picture-perfectly. Our way of seeing is a language that has been learnt through centuries of exposure and reinforcement and continues to be created through how we are told to make images.
Photography is a way of controlling and managing our environment and the way we represent our world makes it safer and easier to understand. This series looks at this notion of control and asks ‘what is beautiful? an idea that is never truly defined but has a central role in our way of understanding imagery.