Ella Finney

The Surface of the Sun

c-type prints

The surface of the sun is a collection of agitated images that represent the greatness behind ‘bad’ art, celebrating your weaknesses and turning them into something glorified. The demand for perfect imagery existing within the industry and the minds of artists troubles me, as I believe that artwork is more than just impeccable executions and precious reproductions; it is a statement. It is the embodiment of an essay. It is an expression; an idea. It is meaningless; a communication of raw talent. It is a mental state; the window into a person’s mind. And I’m telling you this like you don’t already know.

I believe Photography has a certain set of rules, which I loathe, but I get pleasure out of breaking them because the outcomes can be so beautiful. Taking photographs is like having multiple instantly filled canvases; we understand that composition and camera settings are important when shooting an image, but why should every artist follow all the same rules? For example, at university, my film handling techniques were like a dirty little secret; I didn’t wear gloves, I didn’t have an air blower and my film binder was so disorganised; thank God nobody knew I didn’t put my film in the fridge!!! I would only feel comfortable scanning film when the room was quiet and I could hide in a corner for no one to see. And I am completely aware that this is not the correct way to scan film, but I wanted imperfections; I had shot photographs that I wanted to be damaged because I loved the way they looked. Simultaneously, blemishes turn technically inadequate or boring images into something that people enjoy looking at. Therefore, I believe my adoration for damaged photographs stems from my inability to receive criticism without taking it personally (I’m working on it). How can I take negative feedback to heart if the images are purposely bad?

That is what these images are about. They are about me; they are my statement. They are the embodiment of my essay. They are my expression; my idea. They are meaningless; a communication of my mediocre talent. They are my mental state. They are about the institute and rebellion. They are bursts of colour and reflections of light. They are a bit more than just ‘bad’ photographs; they are the window into my mind, but I’m working on it.