Benji Thomas

A severed fish head on a beach at low tide, a two-headed swan on a lake, a dog catching a hole-punch cloud in its mouth like a frisbee, a sky-blue toy plane ditched into a bush, behind a wire fence. 

I never seek out moments like these, but I know them when I see them, because they stop me in my tracks. The best way I can describe it is finding something surreal within the real, but I’m not a Surrealist. I can’t help but be more interested in the strangeness of real experiences, real life, rather than looking inwards at the subconscious. A lot of this is down to my obsession with light and the way it transforms things. A change of light is basically the same thing as a change of place, because our perception completely shifts. 

I like to think that what happens after the photograph, the material process, is a kind of distillation of what I noticed about the scene to begin with. I’m taking a tiny scrap of information and putting it through a machine to see what happens, and the process varies depending on what quality I’m looking to amplify. I’m constantly curious about how different materials work and love seeing layers build up and change, making instinct and indecision visible. So I try and resist formula, and it’s only once the work starts convincing me of something new, distinct from the source image, that I feel like I’m getting somewhere.

Personal website.