I came across Bill Armstrong in a round about way that doesn’t warrant explaining but it does highlight that there is so much more out there than we can ever know. His work is all about colour, almost nothing else, although there are things going on in his pictures it is the colour that makes the difference.
His work definitely falls into the bracket of
“One photo out of focus is a mistake, ten photos out of focus are an experimentation, one hundred photo out of focus are a style.”
this is what he says about The Infinity Series
My unique process of appropriating images and subjecting them to a series of manipulations—photocopying, cutting, painting, re-photographing—transforms the originals and gives them a new meaning in a new context. Extreme blurring makes the edges within the collages disappear, so the photographs appear to be seamless, integrated images. This sleight of hand allows me to conjure a mysterious tromp l’oeil world that hovers between the real and the fantastic. It is a world just beyond our grasp, where place may be suggested, but is never defined, and where the identity of the amorphous figures remains in question. It is a world that might exist in memory, in dreams, or, perhaps, in a parallel universe yet unvisited.
The nature of visual perception intrigues me: how the eye continually tries to resolve these images, but is unable to do so, and how that is unsettling. And I am drawn to the idea that we can believe something is real, while at the same time knowing it is illusory; that the experience of visual confusion, when the psyche is momentarily derailed, is what frees us to respond emotionally.
At the same time, the subject of these collages is color. Extreme de-focusing enables me to blend and distill hues, creating rhapsodies of color that are meditative pieces—glimpses into a space of pure color, beyond our focus, beyond our ken.
You will have either hated or loved these images, I doubt there is a halfway house, as a photographer you either want pictures to represent things, objects, moments in time or you want your pictures to hint at atmosphere, emotion and thoughts.
Bill Armstrong is running a workshop at The Photographers Gallery on 25th April, here is a link to the rather sparse information