Gregory Halpern, A

I could talk about structure and the pursuit for shelter in this article. I could talk about the twisted branches, the crippling souls, the metaphoric wonder. All of which undermines my usual approach to photographic discussion, but I get the feeling that flouncy language will not help decipher this work. It will merely pad it out making it more comfortable.

I came across this work some time ago and the images have not yet left my mind.
At the time, there was a quality to the work that made it infectious. With a style free from genre. They do not follow trends, instead merely work hard in the mind of the photographer. The approach is considered, slow, collecting gems as time goes on. Photographs are earned not quickly gathered.

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A narrative swirls, slowly picking up pace as characters are introduced. The title 'A' gives us little reference to the suggestions made bythe photographer. Anything I say now would appear to be speculation and I think that is his intention.
Personal meaning can enter the photographic series on a regular occurrence highlighting the interactions between thephotographer and subject. Subconscious mind swirls in panic and excitement as each person, object and landscape come to pass.

The first thing I recognize in these images is structure as the wooden beams struggle and strain with heavy Olympic like gates. The battered porch blends from well worn grass, displaying the only living element of the photograph. What feels like the time before dusk as white skies go from a silent black the shutters lie quiet, the house sits content.

When people roam the surroundings they carry marks of living, potentially as tired as the structures shown. Their bodies weathered, tired but never beaten. They radiate strong personalities carrying a kind of permanence. As we know photographs do not verbally explain themselves, but their intentions and the sensation they provide speak their own language. One that we don't even speak or understand in full. It becomes the visual language that speaks.

With only their facial features to help decipher, their marks and scars imply a recent violence. A man's pupils widen as his mind radiates from either desperation or a moment of up-most excitement. Clues of context decorate themselves around the blurry edge, as a fighting cage attempts to populate part of the story. The blood lying fresh on the weary lines, his heart pounding faster than usual.

These acts of excitement begin to paint diluted representations of the people involved as their connections appear loose. They run on feeling.

Positive eyes daze at the photographer, nearing to a sense of possibility through love and compassion. Arms wrap around loved ones, as half smiles present overwhelming attachment. They are each others shelter.

Deceit and greed enter the series as it draws nearer to an end. The photographers final statement suggesting the stealing of objects. The bicycle wheel glowing in green surrounding the spindling forks forming the perfect getaway vehicle. Golden beads swim in the hands of a black glove, wriggling from conscious theft for various reasons. They ripple in the artificial moonlight as the next move is to grasp the possessions away into the night. Each moment scampering off into darkness.

Life breeds in the form of animals and their maneuvering around these spaces - gathering supplies for a kind of ice age, anticipating the end of existence through natural greed and instinctual survival.

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As visual chaos reigns the series stays silent and quiet beyond sound. The sensation that each moment can snap at each point, fueled by feeling and context.

The photographer's approach allows for questions to be raised and it's personal standpoint allows for these suggestions to open and unravel. Much to do with the title 'A'. I get the feeling these pictures can mirror anything the audience seeks. With their open questions there appears to be no wrong answer available, creating questions that get half answered.