Elliott M Burke, Belchertown. MA. Member Since July 2009 Artist Statement Greying. Surly. Caffeinated and Unadulterated. Fairly prolific in a minimalist sort of manner. I am very much an amateur photographer, having picked it up again recently due to work as a freelance journalist which pays extra for pictures.
I'm an "On The Job" learner - I could sit and read a manual about how to take pictures or do anything, but it is less effective than actually doing it, making mistakes and figuring it out as I go along.
I also prefer to take an experimental approach to most things, particularly using improvisation, which opens me up to mistakes and unexpected possibilities.
I love images. If you were to invite me over to your house I would easily get caught up in looking at pictures on the wall, photo albums, collections of books and records.
I like symbols. Everything is symbolic. I believe that shows in the pictures I take, and often one of the reasons I'm prompted to take a picture is because of its symbolism.
I take an awful lot of photos right outside our back door. I work from home and will take a break, grab the camera and go visit our animal neighbors. We live in a small cottage on a farm and, while some of the images may be a little repetitive, each one is always new to me.
My wife, Cheryl is a graphic designer, and her love of color, form, perception (not to mention fonts) and playfulness has been affecting and influencing me for the past several years. Thanks, sweetie.
I once believed that pictures were sort of illusionary, if that is the right description. I didn't want to ruin the fleeting, transitory and impermanence of a thought, image or action by securing it physically. Having only a memory of it and the feelings that it evokes seemed to me to be the proper way to approach it. Now I'm getting older and less reliable in my memory and I no longer feel this way. I often bring the camera with me or face the terrible regret that I didn't take it when I left the house.
Despite an underlying tendency to be a purist in many forms, I've become a digital artist out of necessity. It's easier in many ways while also being less expensive. I compose and record digital music (which also tend to be symbolic snapshots in their own way) and, while I would ideally prefer to capture the full sound of a one hundred and eighty person choir and orchestra, the fresh, improvised spiritual connection of players in a jazz quintet, or the intimacy of a virtuoso finding the perfect pattern of notes on a well-worn and beloved ethnic instrument, it's not practical having them over at 3:00 am in the morning. So, too, with photography. No dark room and chemicals and expensive supplies. Just point, click, download, fuddle about with it, upload it and share.
Actually, I like being a digital artist. Most everything I am interested in is far more accessible and affordable for me because of digital technology. Going back thirty years ago, when I first became aware of the possibilities that digital technology could offer us, especially through music and with synthesizers, it was so expensive that it remained out of my grasp. Not so now days. Almost anyone can create something with their pc and, while the results often aren't impressive and worth your attention, it is still remarkable that the possibility exists for everyone. It's a nice little revolution we're having, isn't it?
I'm working at being an emulator rather than an imitator. I'm working through it. Which is weird for me because in other artistic respects I feel I don't have that problem, but with photography it seems really difficult for me to move away from the influence of others and into my own vision.
I like to collect vintage images, especially foreign photos from the turn of the century and from other cultures, advertisements and posters from the 20's and 30's and propaganda from the cold war - here on our shores and elsewhere.
I also enjoy meeting people and making new friends. Please feel free to add me as a contact here, if you'd like, or at any of t