A Pair of Boots (2009)

This image – ‘Pair of Boots’ (2008) was taken on as part of an inventory of objects around my fathers concrete workshop; where he has worked with his brother for more than fifty years. It is a very personal image, which contrasts, and symbolically brings together, the world of my work – as a photographer, artist and scholar of Art history; and my background with my fathers world of work and my time working with him there. It references a famous 1887 painting by Vincent Van Gogh, which is often cited to refer to the pre-modern world of struggle and suffering - the everyday objects of workers labouring with the soil.

In relation to this painting, Fredrick Jameson suggested that through the work of art, reality is drawn into a revelation which is unavailable in the everyday world. The 'audience' (in the context of the time of the painting) is brought into contact with the everyday world of the worker. This exchange relationship opens the object of work to an extraordinary freedom - artist and audience can separately, privately and individually meet and identify with the significance of the object, in a society where this identification woud be otherwise unavailable (Jameson, 1991).

The image also takes note of a famous Walker Evans image from the American depression in the 1930s - 'Floyd Burroughs Shoes', with which Jamesons comments are also apposite. (A copy of Evans' image has been hanging above desk for more that three years. For me its far more than just 'canonical' it represents the valuable essence of the photographic medium).