Artist Statement

"I am intrigued as to how past experiences impact on our lives in the present and how my past informs my view of the world."

Photography not only records and event but also acts as a significant tool in the recollection of memory and in the expression of the unconscious.

From the first picture of our birth, through adolescence and with the continued recording of significant events in our lives, we continue to use photography as a recording device. In later life, as we reproduce these events and reconcile the memories with the images, alternative realities may emerge. The rendering of this disparity between memory and image creates conflict and often leads to a questioning of truth and reality.

Rowell's images offer us an opportunity, as in psychoanalysis, to peel back the many layers, the narrative of the past, to reveal hidden knowledge that exists within us all. By incorporating his study of psychodynamic theory with his art and by way of articulating often-dark lonely spaces, he moves between the figurative and the abstract, maintaining a sense of disturbance that emanates from the work. His practice has always been informed and inspired by other's own sense of reality. Rowell is fundamentally interested in issues of the unconscious and it's "outing", revealing his inner world in a deep and perceptive way. The work exposes these early experiences, giving them expression and form, which for many years had been repressed. This photographic exploration of constructed tales along with the text creates a powerful and honest look at his past. The photographic exploration while being a type of self portraiture, as he is also the subject in the frame, challenges sentimental images of childhood and how powerful the use of photography can uncover buried events.

Spencer Rowell is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist practising in Soho, London. His present research documents the intersubjective experience between self-portrait in analysis, his thesis 'An Exploration of Pathography within Phototherapy, An Analysis of the Photographic Self-Portrait' will be available in the summer.

Lecturing at The Cass, Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, he is particularly passionate in the shared experience of creative practice and believe strongly in the utility of the integrative dynamics of group critique. With this in mind, upon completing his MA in 2010, along with David George and Fiona Yaron-Field, developed and launched the lens-based, artist-led photographic collective in the form of a quarterly publication and a monthly creative discourse group. Uncertain States (UCS) is an artists' led project that publishes and engages with the public by distributing a free quarterly broadsheet, available at the V&A, Baltic, Ikon, Turner Contemporary and other national Galleries. Organising monthly talks, having an annual exhibition that focuses on the concerns of contemporary photographic practices, UCS work in partnership with other organisations developing an extensive community and opportunities for UK's formidable talent of lens-based artists.