His works expound the spirit of the place, from the mundane to the magnificent. Landscapes from the back yard to the snowfield are the sets of his eerie, haunting, enigmatic photographs. Created as seamless, modest yet elaborately orchestrated tableau. Meticulous in their poise, composition and lighting — Simmons is a master technician, an illusionist. By using a technique refined over the last 25 years, he reconfirms that the camera can do much more than capture a moment in time. Interventions are animations of frozen time worked to elevate landscape, (imagined as an indefinite subject between dream and reality), above history and legend. His pictures suggest the bizarre yet beautiful surrealities behind deceptively familiar locations, empty and lonely territories become simultaneously poetic and seductive. Dissonantly lit in their isolation at once recognisable they draw us into exploring a transformation of the urban landscape after dark, and take on altogether new and classical meanings in this estranged context.
Nocturne is a natural subject for artists who exploit the metaphysical dynamic that manifests during the dark hours of day. In their work they manipulate emblematic representation to amplify the emotional impact, this is employed in Simmons revelation of the world, instilled with a heavy silence and an anxious glow. Conjured during the diminishing hours of day and deep into the night when the uncanny and otherworldly manifest, rendered with concentration and subtleness these fleeting moments endure. In each image the enchanting narrative unfolds suggesting a yet unrealised transformative potential. Within eerie states of stillness they possess a silent and extraordinary magical beauty.
Shot at night or at the time just bridging twilight, a mythical zone when the veil separating this world and the next is at its thinnest. They bask in the loss of light which accents the glow that persists, emanating from an unknown source. The most significant sense from the works is an overriding feeling that evokes the notion of interlude and aftermath.
Fascinated with the mythology of space and potential traces of life in absence, Simmons’ imagery does not attempt to offer a single answer to a complexity of questions but acts toward contributing to the mystery of life and in reconfirming the elusivity of a tangible didactic.
Louise Clements – Senior Curator of QUAD and FORMAT Photography Festival
The images shown here have been produced over the past 5 years. Personal circumstances often act as a catalyst to change direction. It was after my mother died in 2002 that I found myself at a crossroad. Part of the process of mourning is to come to a place where we can move forward. These landscapes have for me a sort of resonance, an other worldly quality.
There is something magical out there in our world, something missed, something waiting to reveal itself to our conscious mind. The landscape changes at night, a time when all the unnecessary distraction for the purity of a place dies down. Then we get a chance to experience something for ourselves, to feel an affinity and a connection to where we are, even who we are.