Brian Devon

about the artist

Born in Dublin, Ireland, my journey in image making began when I was eight years old. I must have expressed an interest in photography because Santa Claus placed a beginner’s photo chemistry kit under our Christmas tree.

My parents had a old-fashioned brass bed with heavy blankets that reached the ground. It was under there that I set up my ‘alchemists cave’ and began a life long experiment in image making.

For me there is a need to express something more than the perfect likeness that the camera captures, an inherent desire for the hand of the artist to be felt in the work. Within a very short space of time, I began trying to enhance my images using various techniques, including applying tints from the kits that, in those distant days, came with Kodak black and white printing kits.

I worked in several studios in Dublin and London, England, and had the priceless opportunity to watch some great professionals at work. During that time I also had access to state-of-the-art darkrooms in which to further my experiments with color, textures, tints and in which to explore printing techniques both traditional and contemporary. The work of such photographers as Nikolai Andreev, Alvin Langdon Coburn and Robert Demachy intrigued me, their impressionist feel touched a nerve, leading to my use of techniques such as adding pigments, layers of texture, painted backgrounds and tints that give my work its unique look and feel.

It was a long and interesting development. The work I produced for my first one-man exhibition in 1982, clearly showed the birth of an style that leads to the images of today.

Now I think of the camera as part of a process, a sketchbook really, to create one of the building blocks in the journey toward my final image.

I work with a variety of substrates, choosing different elements to suit the image I am creating.

Each image is produced in a series of 25 hand-crafted pieces.

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