Broom’s Frames of Mind series of photographs captures fantastical imagined landscapes created through building miniature sets. With a cinematic approach to photography, Broom creates illusions that play between reality and fantasy, emphasising the imaginative impulse. Her images are densely narrative, exploring universal themes of childhood, loss and the anxiety of modern life through these constructed scenes.
In conversation with Adrien Boom and Thomas Doyle:
platformPHOTO: Hi Adrien, can you tell us about your experience working on this project?
Adrien Boom: I loved working on this series. I’m inspired by the idea of creating worlds that aren’t exactly our own - but which bring about very familiar emotions.
platformPHOTO: Who are your main influences and from where do you draw your inspiration?
Adrien Boom: My influences seem to vary from project to project. However, Gregory Crewdson has always been the artist I go back to again and again for reflection and inspiration. While he builds extremely elaborate sets that mimic our everyday life, he always adds an element of the strange, or the out of place. I can get lost in his work for hours.
platformPHOTO: What tools and processes have you used to create this series?
Adrien Boom: Sets are built in my studio using a variety objects and tools. I have an idea of what I am trying to get across in an image and then I play with materials and set up until the idea and the piece seem to align in a way that makes sense to me. In some sets I use malleable material to create the shapes I’m looking for, in others I use dirt and mirrors. I tend to pull from whatever I can find.
platformPHOTO: How do you intend people to react to your photographs?
Adrien Boom: Finding beauty in simplicity is a goal for my art, like a form of meditation. I hope it will quiet and inspire the mind of the viewer.
platformPHOTO: To you, what is the role of photography?
Adrien Boom: There are many different roles for all the different expressions of photography. For the work I do, I view it somewhat as an escape. A story told from another place, but hopefully with a nostalgic connection that will inspire and happify.
platformPHOTO: Thank you so much for your time today Adrien and here’s our last question. If we were to send you to a desert island and allow you to take with you only one picture taken by another photographer, what picture would you take?
Adrien Boom: Wow, that’s a tricky question! I have a feeling if I was asked this question yesterday or tomorrow my answer may change. Today I will say it would be the photo of Gregory Crewsdson’s, from his Twilight Series. It’s of a young boy standing in a dip below the train tracks, regularly a seedy location, but here it is transformed into a place of hope and beauty. I have no idea if this was the artist’s intention, but it was my reaction. The boy is looking up, coated in light and mist, and you can barely make out figures in the background. When I first saw this photo in a gallery, it was about 6ft long. I stared at it for at least 30 minutes …and could have stayed all day. Once in a while an image pulls you in and won’t let go. I think this is a good image to keep me company and inspired.
platformPHOTO: Hi Thomas, please can you tell us a bit about what sparked the concept and ideas behind your work?
Thomas Doyle: I’m interested in the uncanny, and in things being out of context. In my pieces most everything is just right, except for something that is very, very wrong. I like the jarring collision between the calming world of domesticity and scenes of destruction, warfare, and the like. The liminal space in between the two is the most exciting to me.
platformPHOTO: You state that your work makes us focus on the fragility of our own lives. How do you feel that this message is conveyed through your work?
Thomas Doyle: The figures in my work are usually at the mercy of their environment, typically barely surviving some heaving disaster. The fact that they appear oblivious to their circumstances probably best describes life; we tend to keep our heads down and get through most things. Really looking at the world around you opens up to how quickly it can all be taken away.
platformPHOTO: How would you best describe your style of work?
Thomas Doyle: “Small-scale sculpture” is how I usually describe it, though there are many other words that would probably better round it out: narrative, psychological, dioramas, scenes.
platformPHOTO: What first inspired you to become an artist and why did you decide to focus on making small-scale sculptures?
Thomas Doyle: I was making dioramas as a small child, as many children do, but my fascination ranged beyond the occasional school project into toy army bases, environments for plastic animals, shoebox dollhouses, and the like. I’ve always made things, but it wasn’t until I was 20 that I realized that making things was my life’s work. Years later, after learning to paint, pull prints, take photographs, etc., I looped back around to making small-scale sculptures and realized that I had found a rich vein that was as exciting to me now as it was when I was a child.
platformPHOTO: Thank you so much for your time today Thomas, we have one last question for you. If we sent you to a desert island and allowed you to take only one picture with you by another photographer, what would this image be?
Thomas Doyle: If it’s only going to be one, I’ll go with any satellite photo of the earth at night. I could stare at those for hours.
Venue: Ronchini Gallery, 22 Dering St London W1S 1AN
Dates: 6 September – 6 October 2021
Opening Reception: 5 September 2013, 6 – 8pm
For more information visit Ronchini Gallery‘s website: www.ronchinigallery.com