Is there ever too much experimentation? - Kieran Reiss Delaney

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Kieran Reiss Delaney

Kieran Reiss Delaney  - Photography - Berlin

What part does experimentation play towards the artistic process, is it an essential element of creation?

I believe it’s essential in the artistic process, otherwise being an artist would be extremely mundane. To flog the same idea over and over again works for many artists and they can become very successful , but I have too short an attention span for that. I like to sharpen my strengths and strengthen my weaknesses  and  I don’t think I’ll stop doing that until I’m six feet under. My work’s theme and style very much depends on my train of thought at that time but also I mull it over for a while to let it evolve, that is also critical.

We often link the word experimentation to science. How scientific is this process in your there often a particular contribution of creative ingredients that you expect to create a particular result?

I don’t think there’s a particular algorithm to the way I work. I just throw everything I have at a wall and see what sticks. Aspects that I enjoy in a project can often leave an audience with that bewildered look on their face, and aspects I grew to loathe have the opposite effect. I understand it’s hit or miss in this game and the most important thing is to do this for yourself. I don’t want to make pretty pictures, I want to create a project that orientates around where my mind is at that time, I’m very creatively selfish in that way. 

My workbooks are a sporadic mess and are usually not understandable by anyone but myself
— Kieran Reiss Delaney

What creative mediums do you use and what elements to they add to a piece that a single medium piece does not. 

I use and experiment with all sorts of mediums, it can depend on the style I want. I will try everything to get that certain texture or colour and I play around until I achieve that. I have used coloured pencils to spray paint, and I will only merge multiple mediums if they blend together.

Is there ever too much experimentation, if so when is this point and how can you tell?

That is the worry. I have been to many an exhibition especially in Berlin where I live now and people are drowning in it. They have obviously been locked in a room somewhere for a very long time and have been mulling over the same idea over and over again until they have completely gone of their rocker. I experiment until I feel I am doing something original, even then I will play around with further ideas but the majority don’t usually make the final cut. My workbooks are a sporadic mess and are usually not understandable by anyone but myself. But like many artist there has always been a time, where we have been exhibiting work and a idea of a better version of that work will creep in your mind when it’s too late.

Would you say you have found your artistic style yet or are you still searching?  Is it any harder to discover this style when using multiple mediums?

I know my style is within the constructive still life genre but luckily that allows me a lot of creative freedom.  As I said before I don’t really want to stay with the same look or style all the time as that would be an excruciatingly painful way to live for me. I think there are certain aspects of my work like the illustration factors that you can pin point to my style but otherwise I would like each project to be dramatically detached from each-other in either theme or style. When I finish a project I have left that part of my life behind, I very rarely want to expand, I would rather move on. 

How does it feel when you are showing a new experimentation for the first time…is it frightening? What feeling can you compare it with

It is not frightening for me at all, I am more curious to how people will react. I am not going to lie and say I don’t care what people think,  I do. I simply just do not let the audiences thoughts affect my future work. I don’t want to hone my work or style to fit what the audience wants but still their opinions are enlightening and I welcome criticism with open arms. 

You call yourself a photographer with a background in fine art and graphic design. Would you say this title relates to your artistic perspective, such that do you find yourself also doing fine art and graphic design from a photographic perspective?

My background education has made me a more well rounded artist and I simply would not be able to do the work I do without that past visual education. I had some brilliant lecturers in my time and they have pointed me in the right direction and they helped me find my style, god knows where I would be without them. I am simply a photographer who so happens to have this educational background but of course elements from those teachings help me when it comes to constructing still life’s. I have worked as a writer, sound engineer and graphic designer and still do to a smaller scale, I have found my calling so to speak in photography.

How do environmental portraits tell a bigger story about a model, explain how you would go about placing a particular model in a particular environment with as much information as you can.

Social dynamics fascinate me and I am people watcher. I construct a scenario in my head, jot it down then find the right model that would work in that part. In my work the models are actors, I chose them because they had a look that I wanted for my image. I love people with a face that can tell a million stories, they make the best characters. If a model drops out for various reasons It is extremely disappointing as I have fixated on that look specifically and I have such control issues within my work that having to adjust any aspect at such a late stage is extremely uncomfortable for me. I have slowly been filtering models out and working more with cardboard cut outs, I wish that was lie but it is not, look out for this in my next project.