Joe Dean's work explores the fragments of imagery that we encounter in the course of our everyday lives. Reflections on windows. Patterns created by raindrops and street lighting. The rhythm and repetition of shadows. Meeting points between nature and the manmade. The textures and contrasts of our urban environments.
These are regularly experienced moments that are at the same time fleeting and transitory. Filtered by memory and abstracted in the subconscious, they provide brief moments of contemplation amongst the often chaotic routines of daily life. They are the gaps in between.
He begins with photos or film, most often taken with a mobile phone and recorded instinctively and without pre-planning. These provide a record of journeys, and visual experiences. Time is frozen or expanded to allow space for contemplation or fresh perspective. He is keen to explore the way we see an image after the event rather than remaining true to what was seen or recorded originally.
Drawn to strong contrasts in shape, colour and texture, these are rarely based on specific narratives and context is often not relevant or only becomes significant later. People are often absent, isolated or lost in thought and what captures his imagination most is ambiguity.
The work retains a high level of realism but details are often left out, altered and edited as the images progress. The result is an often stylised and abstracted view of the original “reality”, a way of holding onto a fragment and making it concrete. The physical qualities of the medium are a vital part of the process of understanding the resonance of these brief moments and an attempt to unearth something that is particular to the artist's eye but also reflective of our universal experience.