Stephen Gill is Talking to Ants

Stephen Gill (b. Bristol, UK 1971)
-Stephen Gill seems like one of the happiest adventurers out in the world playing with photography today. — Jim Casper, Lens Cultúre

Gill lives and works in London. Still at a young age, he has already written and edited award-winning books. He’s had great commercial success,  and lots of exposure. His photographs are in numerous public collections, including the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum. He always seems to be doing something new and exciting and — different.

Shoot Gallery in Oslo is showing his World of Ants until May 5th.

Shoot writes:
-Chronicler, visual poet, anthropologist, sociologist, alchemist and conceptual artist: Stephen Gill is a unique maker of images who is constantly putting the photographic medium to the test and is able to create a visual language where documentary photography, coincidence, experiment and interventions are closely linked.

All photos via


In-camera photograms:
“The photographs were made in Brighton and Hove during 2010. They feature objects and creatures that I scooped up from the local surroundings and introduced into the body of my camera.

I hoped through this approach to encourage the spirit of the place to clamber aboard the images and be encapsulated in the film emulsion, like objects embedded in amber. My aim was to evoke the feeling of the area atthe same time as describing its appearance.- Stephen GillStephen Gill (1971), is one of the most interesting emerging photographers of the British scene. Photojournalist, visual poet, anthropologist, sociologist, alchemist, his series hybrid conceptual and documentary photos through obsessive explorations of different themes.

After depicting the London district of Hackney, the photographer born in Bristol but now based in London experimented more creative methods with the documentary approach.

His path thus began approaching conceptual art, and saw him go to great lengths to free himself of the technical restrictions of photography. The first step was abandoning his professional camera in favor of a used plastic model.

The results are various series of photographs realized with different techniques, in which the author casts a new gaze on the places and instants of our daily life that he portrays.

For example, in series “Talking to the Ants” presented here, Gill arranged objects inside the same photo camera, leaving traces on the film.

In previous series “Buried” he had buried and exhumed polaroid photos, in “Hackney Flowers” he decorated them with collages of flowers and seeds. And more, in “Best before end” the emulsion of the film was immersed in energy drinks.

If realism can only describe, Gill instead is inspired by coincidences, mistakes and manipulation, starting from the same film rolls.



By: Tina Holth