Bonnell, Sian

Sian Bonnell, Weymouth Dorset, Great Britain

Mist (Dusk)

“Taking domesticity as her starting point, Bonnell places everyday, household items in rural contexts and photographs them within the landscape. Appearing at first quirky, whimsical and humorous, the images also allude to the domestic role of women in society and environmental abuse.

Her most recent series, Glowing develops this domestic theme, where jelly moulds, colanders and other kitchen utensils and objects are placed incongruously in the countryside. The objects are lit from within and omit a luminosity which is accentuated by the light boxes in which the images are placed. Surrounded by grasses and flora, the glowing objects appear alien and strange in their new environment. This juxtaposition of nature and artifice hint to the increasingly synthetic nature of our day-to-day living.

Many of her earlier monochrome pictures, some exploiting the arcane qualities of pinhole photography utilise similar jelly moulds, cake tins and other plastic containers, and exude intensely sculptural qualities, aping the natural forms of the rural environment.

The artist says of her work: I am interested in the places we go when we are vacant; when we are taking part in the reality of everyday life but drift off, like when I am doing the ironing. I am intrigued by the absurd, life and the reality of our lives is steeped in absurdity so although my images may look surreal, to me they are a kind of absurd reality.

Bonnell’s highly individual work fuses the boundaries between still life, landscape and sculpture. In so doing, she creates playful yet provocative depictions which heighten our perception and pleasure of both our domestic and natural environments.”

Christopher Coppock, Ffotogallery, Cardiff Wales, 2004