Alike Braine is a French artist. She began her interest in Art with sketching, but she wasn’t enjoying it very much so she experimented with the idea of ‘making drawings on photographs.’ So she then moved into the medium of photography more. In the attempt to ‘make drawings on photographs’ she often explores the effect of hole punching particular areas out of the photograph. Within her images she inspired by Alexander Cozen’s work entitled ‘A New Method of Assisting the Invention in Drawing Original Compositions of Landscape.’ As his technique was to make random blotches of black ink on his landscape images. The process of hole punching her images acts as a painter with a paintbrush. This allows her to make her own individual unique mark on the photographic industry.
Braine is interested in the materiality of a print. She said: “Photography is at the same point that painting was with abstract impressionism in the 1940s: we see a material photograph, we don’t just see an image. Its because we’re so saturated with photographic images that we’re able to look at a photograph’s material, not just the image it carries.” (Braine, A. From book Post-Photography: The Artist with a Camera, 2014.) Her destructive techniques add to this materiality of her print as by cutting into the surface of the print this encourages the viewer to look more at the texture and highlights the more handmade nature of the image.
As you can see from the images above, the initial photograph of Aliki Braine’s work is predominantly a pristine landscape which looks almost untouched. Braine then uses her technique to juxtapose this notion and completely alter this interpretation by her technique of hole punching. Additionally, this creates negative connotations as a black circle normally represents emptiness and is normally connected with the black hole.The shape of this circle dominates much of Braine’s work and she said herself that she doesn’t know where it has come from. As a student she didn’t understand why images always had the be a rectangular shape when we done see the world in that shape. This concept is interesting to me.
Her images always remain in black and white which I believe to be essential in the representation of her subject, as if they were in colour then their photographic impact would be lost and that contrast would make the image less impactful. In the image above (bottom) I think that it is very effective in the way that she has still included some of the branches of the tree to be seen. As this allows the viewer to try and uncover the scene and imagine the details that have been removed. For this image I also think it was essential that the subject remained in the centre of the frame as the gaze remains in this area and allows the viewer to deconstruct the image the way Braine intended.
After looking at Aliki Braine’s work and how she uses a hole punch to deduct certain elements from her photographs I have been thinking about other effects that could be achieved with a hole punch. I wonder what would happen If I hole punched different images and then layered them on top of my chosen picture. I think this could look quite interesting as texture could be created with them also. I will experiment with this idea for this weeks theme in Image Lab.
- Shore, R. (2014) Post-Photography: The Artist with a Camera. United Kingdom: Laurence King Publishing.
- Street, B. (no date) On Aliki Braine. Available at: http://benstreet.co.uk/?p=142 (Accessed: 11 March 2015)
© Kirstie Wilkinson