Brian John Mclernon
A long long time ago, I can still remember how the music played….NO No sorry where was I?
Ahh yes as I was saying, a long time ago someone somewhere lifted a stick marked a line in the sand and art was born.
I don’t know what was different that day. Maybe the sun was in the right place at the right time to bring out the textures. Or maybe this was our first child prodigy, but that will have to remain in the mists.
Just imagine it though, they get all excited and start showing their friends and everyone they meet. And many go off telling their friends about the weirdo they just met. The first critic was born that day as well.
Well as time moves on our hero gets carried away and just can`t stop messing about with sticks and sand. Remember, the word drawing didn’t exist yet. And then one day he finds a burnt stick, whooa! You can see what happened next can’t you? Yep graffiti was born.
Now while John, yes we will call him John: John Smith, is running around lost in a passion. Along come the pretenders and they start marking the walls as well. Standing about in groups, trying to look smart, with their hats at a juanty cock. Though, in fairness, it would seem looking at history they actually produced some lovely pieces of work.
Well unfortunately Mr Smith didn’t attain the immortality that he sought. He passed on leaving the next generation, John Junior and so on, to build upon the legacy he left :-
So, through the passage of time man became more and more sophisticated. Moved on from the stick and started to use paint, hard to know if the word painting was in existence yet but let’s assume it was. In this manner man strode forward. Evolving constantly, creating new more refined tools to do the same job. Continually extending his intelligence beyond his biological limitations through his imagination.
Now whether art brought about philosophy or not I don’t know but it got to the stage where they were undecided. No we are talking about man. They were arguing about light itself and how it worked. There were two main theories, “Emission theory” which suggested light was emitted from our eyes, then collected by them again enabling us to see. And “Intromission theory” which suggested our eyes were receivers for an external light source. That each object we saw emitted its own light.
There was also a third not so well documented “Trippyhippy theory”. It’s all just be a dream man 🙂
At this stage along comes Ibn al-Haytham ( relative of John’s no doubt ) who proves, with the use of a curved piece of glass, creating a primitive lens and the first camera obscura, that light does in fact travel from the object and not from our eyes. Creating our modern theory were our eyes receive the light reflected off objects. The light itself emitting from a separate source.
Now this is were it gets interesting because as we know man likes to cheat. Or is that overcome through imaginative creation of tools. Whatever.
Well John Smith XVI the painter gets hold of one of these camera obscura jobbies and starts using it to improve his painting. Tsk Tsk. But what do you know it catches on and even Mr Da Vinci is known to have dabbled.
Now with man being the insatiable beast that he is this still isn`t enough, one Joseph Nicèphore Nièpce gets frisky and places a piece of pewter plate, coated with light sensitive salts into a camera obscura. And photography is born. (For the sake of alacrity I have left out all the minor details of the inventions of glass, woodwork, metallurgy, chemistry, mathematics, physics and so one that were required to bring this into reality)
As history likes to repeat itself out come the copycats again, each adding their own ingenuity to the situation.
Louis-Jacques-Mandè Daguerre, William Henry Talbot Fox and many others improving very quickly on the initial invention. Enabling photography to go mainstream, for all men finally to be able to see themselves and their world encased in time.
Then poof! 178 years later. I wake up one morning, and for a reason unknown to myself I want a camera. So I get a camera, a small one and I begin to explore, to study the language, the mechanics and the metaphysics. Study what I have to do to bring forth, what now with hindsight has been an urge from my teenage years. To express the beauty the colours and textures of this magnificent life and this I now lay before you.
So who or what am I ?
I’m really just a guy with a stick.
Brian John Mclernon