Alasdair (b.1993) is a Scottish artist working in the medium of photographic double exposures. His work blurs the lines between surrealist art and photography. He creates his art by shooting on analogue 35mm black and white film and then digitally layering two photographs together in Photoshop. He enjoys the technique of combining old and new technologies as it allows greater creative freedom and flexibility. The grainy quality that comes with an analogue camera is enhanced by the ability to select and blend particular images using modern software like Photoshop.
He is also a trained graphic and website designer, having previously set up and run a successful freelance business with a close friend where he worked with various clients in the arts and culture sector in Scotland. Although his focus has now shifted towards art he still works as a freelancer within this industry. His graphic design practice guides and informs the way he creates double-exposure artwork. He also credits his work ethic and drive to the time he spent working as a chef before starting his creative career.
Alasdair is undoubtedly inspired by his father, Alan Dimmick. A photographer himself, it was Alan who gifted Alasdair his beloved Olympus camera and first guided his passion for photography. Other influences on his work include artists such as Leif Podhajsky, Bridget Riley, Ayham Jabr, Vivian Maier, Glasgow-based Steve McQueen, Karen Vaughan, David Shrigley, Salvador Dali, Pieter Bruegel, Edward Hopper, David Hockney, Henri Carter Bresson and Francisco Goya.
Since starting his Lagoon project in 2020, Alasdair is proud to have shown his work in two solo exhibitions so far with plans for more in the future.
‘Twenty Twenty’, 2021
I often take photographs from my window but this time I was particularly lucky. I saw the Red Bull BMX team filming a video of their riders doing wheelies down the street. This, coupled with the 20 20 road markings, I knew would create an effective impact.
I enjoy playing around with perspective in compositions so I paired this with a photo I took of my window sill - the same window I was looking out at the time of the first image. It creates this surreal viewpoint that I like.
The contrast of the rider in the top right performing a smooth wheelie beside the other rider who looks like they could fall over overlaid on the 20 20 road signs could act as a visual metaphor for the highs and lows of the year 2020.
2020 was a difficult time for many people but for me, it was a time when I was able to reset and a lot of good things also came from this time. Perhaps this image could be a symbol of shifting perspectives and trying to find moments of happiness in hard times.
Locations:BMXers outside my flat, Glasgow, ScotlandMy window sill, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
A3 print (framed) - £190Frame size: 54 x 43.3 cmImage size: 35 x 23.2 cmHahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm archival paper
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There is a satisfying simplicity to this piece. The striking geometric curves are full of movement and it seems as if the bold central circle is just asking to be shot into the hoop. The title, ‘Alley-Oop’ is a nod to a basketball move.
Locations:Pacific Quay, Glasgow, ScotlandGartnavel Hospital Grounds, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
This is one of the first double exposures I made. The view of the beach is in Crail, Fife which is where I was inspired to start the Lagoon project.
Something in the angle of the beach image had me reaching for an old photo from a holiday in Budapest from a viewpoint overlooking the city. The space in the beach image framed the overlapping image well.
I love the fun little detail of the woman’s hair wrapped in a bun, beside the domed roof of the building which has a very similar shape. The final dreamy result of this image is a city largely beneath the water. This is where the title, Atlantis, comes from.
Locations:Crail Beach, Fife, ScotlandView of Budapest from outside the Hungarian National Gallery, HungaryEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
‘View from the Bakery’, 2020
I enjoy the amusing juxtaposition in this image of the hopeful young couple sitting in the cafe enjoying a coffee together while looking at these horror-esque expressions on the hanging mask exhibit in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. I feel that it’s reminiscent of an Edgar Allan Poe poem.
I like the added detail that both of these people also have cameras around their shoulders. For me, it adds the sense that even as we attempt to create our own view of the world, we still all act as subjects in other people’s world view.
This is amongst the first double exposures I made and both photographs were taken circa 2015, years before I had started the Lagoon project formally.
Locations:Cottonrake Bakery, Glasgow, ScotlandKelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
The first image in this double exposure is a drawing of a blackbird that I did as a child which still sits framed in my dad's darkroom where all of my film is developed. It amuses me that this drawing has managed to make its way into another piece of my artwork twenty years later.
The other image of the real blackbird was taken outside of my flat. Blackbirds are my favourite bird and I remember dashing out of the car to photograph this one before it flew away. I love the way these two birds sit side by side in a ‘frame within a frame’.
This piece marks the evolution of my creativity and I love the way it represents how the core of my passions have remained the same while my techniques and skills have developed. It represents childhood naivety and the changing yet nurturing relationship between a parent and their child as they grow up. It’s one of my personal favourites.
Locations:My Dad's darkroom, Glasgow, ScotlandBlackbird outside my flat, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
‘Eastern Bloc’, 2020
This was my very first attempt at a double exposure. I remember late at night trying to figure out how I could make my own without doing it the traditional way which involves winding the camera in a particular way.
The method I chose is to layer the two images together in photoshop and then adjust the blending mode to let both images overlay each other. I prefer this technique as it allows me the freedom to be more selective and also to express myself more easily. Funnily enough, this technique is something I learnt when I was a teenager and I’ve enjoyed revisiting the creative enthusiasm of my youth as I’ve started working this way again.
In this image, one of the photographs is a view of Frankfurt from a trip I went on just before lockdown when I started experimenting with film again, and the other is a view from my window. I enjoy the juxtaposition of the organised geometric lines of the football field and the seemingly random arrangement of people wandering across it. If you look closely you can even spot someone doing a wee jig.
I was stunned at the result of this first attempt and loved the surreal outcome of this dreamy setting I had created.
Locations:Hauptwache plaza, Frankfurt, GermanyView from my flat, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
‘Cheese Police’, 2020
I like to add some humour and quirks into my work at times and I think this is a good example of that. Both photographs were taken on the Isle of Cumbrae which is a place close to my heart.
Locations:Lochknowe House, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae, ScotlandBallochmartin, Isle of Cumbrae, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
‘Crispy Rolls’, 2020
This is inspired by a photograph that my Dad took from inside his car which is one of my favourites of his, I wanted to try my own version. On the way back home from a trip to Crail, Fife, I took a quick photo from the backseat.
It was an inspired moment when I used this photograph to layer another and realised how well windows act as a device for other images to seamlessly flow through. The other photograph is of a shop front in Partick and was taken by someone I was close with at the time who was kind enough to let me use it for this project.
I enjoy the way the curve of the steering wheel interacts with the curve of the driver's glasses and I think that the framing of the car window gives the sense of a still shot from an old black-and-white film.
As always, I like to play with contradictions and the title of this piece comes from a pun on the roll of camera film. I think it adds levity to the seriousness of the dreamy monochrome atmosphere.
Locations:Queensferry Crossing, Fife, ScotlandPartick shop window, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
‘Dog at the end of the Tunnel’, 2020
The dog in this image, if you can spot him, was my companion during my trip to Crail at the beginning of the project. The opposing image was taken inside a cold war bunker in Fife which is another example of liminal space, pairing the uncertainty and tension of wartime with the peace and tranquillity of a beach stroll. I like that you don't spot the dog immediately, you need to actively explore the image which is often the case in my work.
The title is a pun on the common saying ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ as I feel that the unfiltered and uncomplicated love of a dog is a pure expression of joy in our modern world. Placing a dog as the central ‘light’ of this image is a playful and surrealist way of expressing this sentiment.
Locations:Crail Beach, Fife, ScotlandCold War bunker, Fife, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
Dundee is a city that I love to spend time in, it reminds me of Glasgow with its creative energy and industrial past. Before this last solo trip to shoot a roll of film, I used Google Street View to scout out interesting views of the Tay Rail Bridge, an iconic and historic Dundee landmark. When I visited Dundee’s newest landmark, the V&A museum, I knew the juxtaposition of tradition and modernity with these two iconic sites would be effective for one of my double exposures.
The triangular underpass connected to the architecture of the V&A is appealing to the eye as a basic shape, but also the space within allowed the imagery of the bridge, a symbol of transition and progression, to flow through beautifully. The finished piece reminds me of some kind of ancient pyramid or a drawbridge acting as the doorway between history and modernity.
Locations:V&A, Dundee, ScotlandTay Rail Bridge, Dundee, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
‘Everlasting Light’, 2022
I recently visited Whitelee Wind Farm, the second largest on-shore wind farm in Europe. As you enter you’re greeted by hundreds of propellers spinning and generating electricity - it’s a rather breathtaking sight. Standing beneath their monumental size gives you the sense that you could be simply flicked away like an ant. Their combined power is enough to support 350,000 homes. Their purpose, shape and the science fiction-esque juxtaposition of engineering and nature made them the perfect source material for a double-exposure image.
The second image was taken at a Sonica light show installation I attended. I felt the spiralling pattern of the lights in this image really complimented the propellers of the first image as it helped to convey the intensity and power of these impressive wind turbines. A sense which is further supported by the silhouetted figures standing in awe of what they’re seeing. I like that the end result could be seen as an advertisement for building more wind farms which are ultimately a symbol of hope for a greener future.
The title carries on with this theme, more wind farms would result in more lights (power) being fuelled by the renewable energy.
Locations:Whitelee Wind Farm, ScotlandSonica light installation, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
It’s all in the eyes. These eyes belong to my father, who is my favourite photographer. I overlaid them with an image of iconic Glasgow tenement buildings.
Just as our eyes are portals to internal worlds, these windows have contained generations of life from milestones to mundanity and I love the parallels between the personal and the private within these two images.
I think this piece is very striking, dreamy and atmospheric. It reminds me of a poster from a Hitchcock film or Eckleburg’s eyes from the Great Gatsby novel.
Continuing the themes of personal and private, the title of the piece is both a play on the central imagery of the eyes as well as a homage to the way my father signs off his emails to me.
Locations:Dad’s house, Glasgow, ScotlandPolwarth St, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
‘Sci Fi Fennel’, 2021
There are lots of details in my work and you often need a second or third look to spot them. During the pandemic, hand sanitiser was low in stock and in this image I enjoyed playing with this fact to create a kind of dystopian landscape which represented our reality at the time. You can see there is a bottle of hand sanitiser with alien-like creatures approaching it. To reinforce the science fiction setting, I used a photograph of fennel cooking in the pan and allowed its unusual shape to create a liminal focus throughout.
The contrast of the real and practical act of cooking fennel as a lens through which to view the strange and otherworldly scene beyond represents the surreal everyday reality of living through a ‘world-changing’ pandemic which would have previously seemed unimaginable to most of us.
Locations:Fennel cooking in the pan, Glasgow, ScotlandPlayground outside the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
One afternoon I was feeling a little stressed as I rushed out of a building which had a revolving door. As each glass panel spun back around, it struck me how similar my stressful thoughts were to the movement of the door, looping around and around.
I knew I had to bring this vision to life, overlaying an image of the revolving door at the National Museum of Scotland with an image of the back of my head. The door represents the external embodiment of my inner circling thoughts.
I find my work to be a very therapeutic practice and the creation of this artwork was no different. Almost immediately as I began to visualise this piece using my anxiety as inspiration, I felt calmed by the idea.
I think that the detail of the ‘Push’ signage to the right of the image reinforces our capacity to persist and ‘push’ through difficult moments, even taking inspiration from them at times as I did with this piece. For me, this is a testament to creativity.
Locations:National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, ScotlandLynedoch Terrace, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
This piece is my personal favourite in the collection. It reminds me of the entrance to some kind of villainous lair from an old 1960s spy film.
I have always been drawn to the red SECC tunnel that arches over the Clyde expressway. Liminal space is a technique I use often in my work and I think this is a prime example. I love the way your eye is drawn down the centre through the tunnel and up towards the mountaintop.
I also enjoy the contrast of the natural and urban in the piece, exaggerated by the way the curving lines of the tunnel resemble the Wifi logo - the ultimate symbol of man-made modernity. For me, I draw great personal delight in the added detail of the person’s shadow at the end of the tunnel, it’s as if they are straddling the line between nature and the city.
Locations:SECC Red Tunnel, Glasgow, ScotlandBla Bheinn, the Cuillin, Isle of Skye, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
Another self-portrait. The first photo was taken in a retail changing room and the second is an image of the Mitchell Library in Glasgow. I like the combination of the silhouettes, the lights and the infinity reflection in this piece.
The endless reflections that show me and my camera from different angles represent how I feel about my work. I intend to continue working on my art and my practice for infinity (or at least for as long as I can!).
Locations:H&M Changing room, Glasgow, ScotlandMitchell Library, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
Meet Percy the cat. He belongs to my brother and I look after him occasionally. I enjoy including animals in my work as I think they make for interesting subjects. The other image is the canal near where I live.
I like the way Percy lays on top of the mural in the other image as if he is the main character and I enjoy the fun added detail that his head rests on the ship mural like it’s a pillow. The fish in the top right adds a cartoonish feel of playfulness to the overall piece. The title of this piece also has a childlike quality as it stems from a frivolous inside joke between myself and a close friend.
Locations:Old Kilpatrick, ScotlandNolly brig, Forth and Clyde Canal, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM10Ilford HP5 Plus 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
I had the photo of the Mackintosh neon sign for some time and I had long wanted to use it. On one of my walks during lockdown, I came across the statue of Charle Rennie Macintosh, a renowned Glasgow architect, and both images fit together well.
My favourite part of this piece is the way the neon letters of the word ‘Mackintosh’ weave in and out of the frame. I often find that suggesting or concealing aspects of a piece can create a more compelling impact than simply revealing the whole subject.
Locations:Mackintosh statue, Glasgow, ScotlandMitchell Lane, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM10Ilford HP5 Plus 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
A large part of my creativity and inspiration comes from play, and I find it important to have fun with my work and experiment with images and forms. ‘Midsommar’ is an example of this practice.
This piece is inspired by a pine wreath that my mum made to decorate the Christmas table which reminded me of the flower crown worn by Florence Pugh’s character in the film ‘Midsommar’. Overlaying a shot of the view from my flat intensified this effect as the tree branches mimicked the film’s imagery.
The result is a humorous self-portrait in the style of my artwork.
Locations:Mum’s house, Glasgow, ScotlandRaglan St, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
‘The Palace of the Cat and her Birds’, 2022
She belongs to a friend of mine and I’m lucky enough to get the pleasure of looking after her from time to time. In her own home, she has stunning stained glass in her hallway window with an image of birds in flight. I like the playful pairing of these two images to exaggerate and hint at the classically tempestuous relationship between birds and cats.
Locations:Hyndland, Glasgow, ScotlandHyndland, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiIlford HP5 Plus 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
‘High Flying Pigeons’, 2021
A lot is happening in this image yet everything seems to fit. I still find new details in this piece each time I look at it and I was incredibly flattered to have been told it reminds some people of a Bruegel piece which is huge praise.
I vividly remember being in the park the day I took this, and feeling inspired as it was my first time photographing in the snow. I knew all the people out sledging would make for an interesting composition. This piece taught me about how to use snow as a blank canvas for other images to blend through.
I enjoy movement in images and the other photo of the flying pigeons adds this effect but also intensifies the surreal and atmospheric setting I am attempting to create. I remember taking the image of the birds very quickly and instinctively, moving naturally with my camera as they moved naturally in flight. The final result is quite dreamlike and reminds me of the Alfred Hitchcock film, 'The Birds'.
Locations:Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow, ScotlandBingham's Pond, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiIlford HP5 Plus 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
‘Modern Dilemma’, 2022
For me, this piece represents our modern reality. The image of the expansive, cloudy skies takes up the majority of the frame but, like the subjects in the picture, our concentration is focused on a small window.
The two people positioned just inside the archway, seem oblivious to the vintage plane swooping through the skies behind them as they gaze into their phone screens.
I see the arch as a metaphor for the outside world, beyond it the scene is bright, inviting and interesting. But these people are stuck in the clouds, or ‘The Cloud’ if you will. They’re missing out on all the excitement happening behind them as they concentrate on the technology in their hands.
Locations:National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, ScotlandCarrick Bay, Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries & Galloway, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiIlford HP5 Plus 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
‘Radox Armada’, 2022
This piece juxtaposes the wild power of the ocean with the calming solitude of running a warm bath. I find that the still water of a bath creates the ideal canvas for another image to shine through.
In this instance, the second image was taken near Bowling Harbour where these wrecks lie on the sand. Despite the violent forces that once destroyed these boats, they now lay peacefully and, to me, this reflects what it feels like to sink into a warm bath at the end of a stressful day.
The rippling bathroom tiles have an uncanny resemblance to swirling sea foam and the lit candle shines through like a little lighthouse at the end of the bathtub.
Locations:Bowling Harbour, Bowling, ScotlandHyndland, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiIlford HP5 Plus 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
The first is of the Ritz Cafe in Millport which has been a popular spot for many decades and has always kept its distinctive interior. This is somewhere I’ve visited on many occasions and it always feels like stepping into a time capsule. The other photo was taken at the Anderston Centre, a once popular area in the 1970s but now pretty desolate.
The composition of this piece is an ode to my favourite painting, ‘Nighthawks’ by Edward Hopper. I like how the milkshake sits unassumingly in the centre of the image, drawing everything together.
The day I spent wandering around the Anderston Centre with my camera was one of those photo sessions where everything clicks into place and I felt totally in the zone. It amuses me that the ‘On a roll shop’ board was captured during this session as I was very much ‘on a roll’ when I captured the image.
Locations:Ritz Cafe, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae, ScotlandAnderston Centre, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiIlford HP5 Plus 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
On the way back home on the train one afternoon, I spotted this abandoned job centre that I thought would make for an interesting composition. The other image is of a landing in a high-rise building. The two together create this eery liminal setting which seems nightmarish and almost apocalyptic. It acts as a nod to the current economic crisis and cost of living crisis.
Locations:Anniesland Job Centre, Glasgow, ScotlandCedar Court landing, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiIlford HP5 Plus 400 35mmAdobe Photoshop
This piece is a personal favourite of mine. I took the image of the seal at the National Museum of Scotland and overlaid it with an image of the view towards the West End of Glasgow taken on one of my view-finding trips around the city.
I love the visual impact of this piece with the large seal appearing to chase down and hunt the small car. This ties into modern climate anxieties and is a message against the overuse of cars in cities. It is our vehicles and cities that threaten the seal’s habitat, but in this image, the tables are turned and the seal threatens us, highlighting how urgent and pressing the climate crisis is, even though the real impacts may feel far removed from our everyday lives.
I also enjoyed playing with layers of meaning with the title. Steel, seal, and steal, as the animal, car and cityscape behind them are all engaged in a symbolic and threatening race for survival.
Locations:Hydro Car Park, Glasgow, ScotlandNational Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400Adobe Photoshop
This piece combines an image of my bathtub overlaid with a still shot of Basil Rathbone as the beloved detective, Sherlock Holmes in the 1940s series. I grew up watching this show and revisiting it recently was like taking a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
I love how the lit candle by the side of the bath seems to be lighting Sherlock Holme’s trusty pipe and the way the David Shrigley ‘Life is Fantastic’ print is positioned next to him.
In ‘Elementary’ I’ve combined happy memories from my past with a place of comfort and joy in my present life to create a self-portrait of sorts.
Locations:Queensborough Gardens, Glasgow, ScotlandQueensborough Gardens, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400Adobe Photoshop
‘Scotland, Texas’, 2022
On a trip to Dumfries and Galloway earlier this year, a friend described the region as ‘the Texas of Scotland’ because, like Texas, this area of Scotland is much vaster than people might expect. I found this imagery amusing as the wet hills of Scotland are so unlike the arid plains that spring to mind when thinking of Texas.
In this artwork, I overlaid an image of the cottage where we stayed with another image of the dramatic skies and landscape of the region. I love the eerie, haunting quality that this creates. I find that, despite obvious differences, it does bring to mind the spooky isolation of an abandoned Texan farmhouse.
The open windows add an unsettling detail to this dreamy and nightmarish scene of dark, misty skies and barren tree branches.
Locations:Netherthird, Dumfries & Galloway, ScotlandCarrick Bay, Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries & Galloway, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400Adobe Photoshop
‘Season's Meeting’, 2021
I took this snowy photo during the heavy restrictions of lockdown from my window, around the time when I first nicknamed my living room the Lagoon. I like the idea of combining this wintery scene with the palm tree, which to me is such a stereotypical image of summer. This could be seen as a visual metaphor which shows how difficult times pass, people persevere and things will bloom once again.
Ironically, the palm tree image was not taken in some tropical country but in Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae, which perhaps represents that good times are not as far away as you might think.
Locations:View from my flat, Glasgow, ScotlandPalm tree, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM10Ilford HP5 Plus 400Adobe Photoshop
‘Vanishing Points’, 2022
The images used in this piece are of two different roads intertwining. I overlaid a picture of the M8 motorway heading from Glasgow to Edinburgh with a picture I took of the bridge to the Isle of Skye.
For me, this piece is the collision of two of Scotland’s personalities. One of these roads leads to the remote, rural countryside that Scotland is romanticised for, and the other connects two of its largest cities.
The geometric lines and shapes at the bottom of the image frame the rural scenery at the top and provide a satisfying contrast between worlds. I like how the shadow in the bottom left corner reflects the man walking in the top right and further symbolises a blurring of worlds.
Locations:Skye Bridge, Isle of Skye, `ScotlandM8 Motorway, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400Adobe Photoshop
‘The Father, the Son and the Holy Mechanic’, 2022
This humorous poster promoting a church’s weekly worship amused me so endlessly as I passed it recently that I just had to photograph it. The image on the poster is a bottle of WD-40 and the text reads ‘Greasing your spiritual gears every other Wednesday at 2pm’.
I loved the idea of extending the tongue-in-cheek tone by juxtaposing the church’s attempt to appeal to a modern audience with an image of the Glasgow Necropolis, a site where all the inhabitants are definitely ‘in spiritual gear’.
Locations:Necropolis, Glasgow, ScotlandHyndland Parish Church, Glasgow, ScotlandEquipment:Olympus OM4tiKentmere 400Adobe Photoshop
The Lagoon project was born in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic when the world ground to a halt and most of my work as a graphic designer was put on hold. In need of a creative outlet to occupy my mind and time, I began experimenting with images I’d taken on a recent trip to Crail and making my own double exposures.
This eventually gave rise to ‘Lagoon’ and what started as a source of solace during lockdown has now become my main creative outlet as I sell my work at markets and online and exhibit at galleries.
The name Lagoon comes from a little tongue-in-cheek joke as this was what I nicknamed my living room throughout many months of lockdown. I turned my small space into an oasis (or lagoon) of creativity and despite the difficulties of this period, my lagoon became a place filled with happy memories. I created a small, dreamy haven in which to take refuge from the tumultuous dystopia of living through a pandemic. It’s still where I work today.There is an added irony in the name Lagoon as this word might usually evoke bright, natural imagery, while my work is monochromatic and often focuses on urban areas. I aim to create a surrealist, sometimes dreamy, sometimes nightmarish feel to my work which feels fitting as Lagoons are often considered places full of mystery and intrigue.My first, late-night attempt at creating a double exposure still sits clearly in my mind and the final piece remains a favourite in the collection. Working with scanned digital copies of film photographs I had taken - one a view from my flat and the second taken in the centre of Frankfurt, Germany - the shots were layered over each other using Photoshop. The surreal outcome of marrying two photographs together particularly struck a chord at a time of strange and heavy restrictions on our usual freedoms. The original, separate compositions come together to create a contradictory place which simultaneously does and does not exist; which we can and cannot explore. Reminiscent, perhaps, of the notion that the places and people we see in dreams are the product of real experiences, woven together by our minds to design a new environment. From the comfort and confinement of my home, digging out photographs taken on my Olympus analogue camera became a way to discover and create new spaces and places whilst the outside world was off-limits.
As a collection, these works subscribe to the surrealist genre, creating dreamlike - and in some cases, nightmarish - scene-scapes. Broadly speaking, the themes in this body of work include natural, urban and liminal spaces, examining the antagonism in the flourishing of artistic freedom and escapism in a time of constraint and limitation.
This project has taught me a lot and I’m still learning each day that I step out with my camera or enter my Lagoon to work on edits. As I continue to work on this project, my ideas, concepts, inspiration and techniques keep evolving. I like experimenting and figuring out different methods for allowing two images to naturally (or unnaturally) coexist. This could be through using different angles, perspectives, white space, mirrors and windows.
I enjoy the challenge of finding subject matter that interests me to photograph and subsequently turn into a double-exposure artwork. I find that inspiration can come from spotting something while out walking that sparks an idea in my mind to explore further, or from a lyric from a song which creates an image in my head that inspires me. Sometimes inspiration simply comes from reviewing my recent photographs and piecing them together in unexpected ways to create something interesting. I think a lot of my work is quite instinctive and natural. I’m always striving for visual impact and while some of this may come with a preconceived concept or narrative, they are always open to interpretation.
E-mail: email@example.comInstagram: @alasdairdimmickTel: 07528499104