beguiling, moving, engaging and sometimes tragic...
...nothing like this has ever been done before!
Origins of the 'Only Human' project
How the idea was born
As an artist and filmmaker I had continually searched for the ‘holy grail’ of
art projects, I guess I wanted to create something unusual that has never been attempted before. However, I was currently caught between two creative streams, part of me is an aspiring portrait painter and the other half a filmmaker. The two disciplines didn't relate as one whole, in reality one potential was watering down the other. It was like my twin passions were operating in parallel universes, I needed to somehow find a singular arts project capable of blending both disciplines together. But how?
Two years ago
I am always searching, continually seeking, constantly curious and having an open approach to life I felt sure I'd find answers sooner or later.
Maybe it was magic or just being in the right place at the right time, but one fine day whilst filming in London it mysteriously happened, like a apparition two beguiling humans quite literally appeared in front of my camera lens. On that day I would capture such transcendent images that would make me both smile and cry all at the same time, but the raw film would sleep blissfully in the dark recesses of my hard drive for twelve long months.
One year later or twelve months ago... depending on how you look at it
Always searching, continually seeking, constantly curious and a year had suddenly past uneventfully. But one chilled winter's eve. whilst sat wistfully drinking a glass of red I found myself in a playful and creative mood, listening to stirring classical music. I was also trawling through some old unedited film footage and this is when the revenant spirit of 'Two Men and a Dog' quite literally returned from the dead. These images were entrancing and moving with a sad tragic undertone, but it was when I decided to slow-down the action it suddenly hit me, this was the art revelation I was looking for?
The blending of passions
An assortment of London street muses, a film, instrumental music and a portrait... I had found the key that picked the lock. I was watching comic-street-opera in slow-motion, edited to stirring classical music and one frame in a thousand others was screaming out aloud... 'PAINT ME.'
This was exactly how I was going to blend my two creative passions together, I was going to make a film and a portrait of an emotional life moment, done in such ways that had never been done before.
Could I win people over with this new kind of hybrid art? God, I hope so!
"All the world is a stage... and in one life a person plays many parts" William Shakespeare
Now I'm continually looking to capture one perfect frame of your life
In the television and feature ﬁlm industry they produce drama in scripted scenes are usually shot at 25 to 60 frames per second. When I look at you through my camera lens, my focus is upon capturing one perfect frame of your life, just one singular picture that uncovers that precious life moment. Once found, you are immortalised forever in a synthesis of film, music, paint, charcoal, pastel and wooden-board.
Who am I and what am I... I'm continually finding that out!
However, I call myself a mixed media artist because
I engage with paint, charcoal, pastel, chalk, digital film
and almost anything I can lay my hands upon..." SeanO
My portraits, films and life moments
Just like the great artist Caravaggio, all my muses are from the streets, they are just ordinary people, leading ordinary lives, existing to breath, live and survive. I'm quite an empathetic person so its only natural that my art is intensely focused upon capturing the darkness and light of human emotions. I tend to choose street muses where I sense a strong visual connect with feelings of love, joy, anticipation, sorrow, pain, isolation and mental anguish. Just like the oddment shapes of a jigsaw, we lay the pieces of our own puzzle throughout our daily existence, pieces-by-piece as our journey unfolds, each and every precious life moment helps narrate the compelling story of our lives.
Creativity is an emotional Journey
Creativity at its best is an emotional journey and as an artist I can't help but become entangled in the subject matter I am creating.
Whenever I paint a human-being from my films, my mind is constantly diverted and distracted by the persons body language, I'm also sidetracked by trying to second guess what's going on behind the facade of the face... I find human beings truly fascinating.
I also believe that how a painting starts and finishes is very often a
product of the artists psyche, creativity is both infected and purified by the artists past experiences with love, joy and passion
and alas the lessons learnt in association with pain, suffering
and regrets... WE ARE ALL TOO HUMAN.
Speed sketch illustration of person in deep reflection
The peoples art - and why we are all captives
This is the peoples art and all my muses are hand plucked from the streets. This is where I find my muses, alive in captivity upon the noisy, bustling, over-crowded streets of London. Yes you are a captive, we are all held hostage to our desires, our relationships, our jobs, our business, our peers, our politics, our religion, even our aspirations, hopes and dreams. Like a tragic Shakespearean play, our lives forever composed of our thoughts, feelings and emotions.
"My picture was my stage and men and
women my actors" William Hogarth
So what am I trying to capture
The art I create is about those moments we all experience in life and to many its probably a pure reflection of what we are all sensing and feeling right now. Everyone on this planet shares the same innate ability to process those recurring feelings and emotions, we also recognize that all too often those thoughts manifest in a tangled composition of conflicting choices, reactions and outcomes. It's exactly these moments that I am trying to capture.
Are we defined by our moments
Intellectuals, scholars and philosophers have foretold that our everyday existence is played out by the second, minute, hours, days, months
and years. It's also true that every life is defined by a series of events, manifested from within our conscious and subconscious minds. These are all moments that are played-out somewhere between the shadows, darkness and light.
It's not just about capturing a persons likeness
I love doing people portraits as every painting presents the added challenge of trying to capture a persons latent feelings and emotions.
Portraits are not just about capturing a likeness, it's also about
capturing the essence of the moment, an attempt to uncover a persons tangled mind and our raw naked emotional reactions.
Looking at art with this kind of prospective makes
the human story and portrait so much more interesting.
City of London
My ongoing passion is to continue focusing upon
capturing peoples life moments both performing on
the great theatrical stage of the London and beyond.
The City of London is possibly the greatest metropolises in the world,
perhaps also the grandest of grand of open air stages.
It's also a place where I frequently find my emotional muses,
offering the most surreal and inspiring performances of their lives.
Where will I film next and who will be my next street-muse?
Don't worry, you wont even know I'm there :-)