Ante Meridiem

Book spreads courtesy of the publisher

Ante Meridiem (Tide Press, 2015)


The morning is something which will always be at the forefront of debate and inspiration to artists – be it in a positive, motivating and driving way or in a way more reminiscent of a sentiment from Poe. It is inescapable, however it is dealt with, and this inescapable quality is what makes it such special material to work with as in Ante Meridiem. Each of the artists here has shown not just an interpretation but also a way of navigating this recurring period. The works here are showing how the seemingly everyday and perhaps mundane can blend with and into something tender and beautifully creative. Ante Meridiem serves to combine not just the experiences and works of the artists but also an oddly dreamy experience for the viewer – from anticipations of what the day might bring in Richard Mulhearns images, visual shapes and collections from morning walks from Alex Catt, to the dreamscapes and narratives of Layla Sailor. The idea of morning often summons the idea that we should begin again, but perhaps something of value to note here is precisely the opposite – that the cyclical occurrence of the day beginning has created a continuing work and presence which has linked these photographers. It has not forced the renewing of sentiment which one might expect, but has instead created an empathetic relationship with the viewer which is at times quite stark as in Christopher Coyle’s images. As we look at the photograph of young boy, we might find ourselves wondering what Ante Meridiem might mean for him at the moment the photograph was taken, or indeed what familiar aspect of the morning he was contemplating beyond the frame. The occurrences and scenarios which we experience everyday, and every morning are those which influence our creative thinking, and are happening in co-presence.