My artistic influences

 
Market Scene, Northern Town, 1939, LS Lowry
Taika Waititi, promo shot for What We Do in the Shadows, 2014
Still from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, 1920
Still from Bubbled, 2020, a short film by Frÿd Senior

I draw inspiration from many areas of art, television, film and theatre which influences my own work. Being a northern based film maker, I am particularly drawn to depicting the traditionally northern working class areas and using these within my work. The grim industrial landscapes of LS Lowry, inspired my collaboration with the northern based writer 'Caleb Pinder', whose book 'Dicky Poggy' was used for my Individual Specialist Project at LIPA. Taking the book's themes and using these to create stylised images to create a television opening sequence for an imagined screen adaptation.


The true worth of a man is written in the ridges of his shins.
- From Dicky Poggy by Caleb Pinder, 2019

'God Knows', is a series of scripts that are in development. Featuring the principle characters, Thor, Dionysius, Cupid and Amon the demon, these huge mythological deities have been picked out of their usual time and place and dropped into a run down northern town, co inhabiting in a cramped, dated terrace house. This conflict of characters and their modern environment immediately creates opportunity for comedic scenarios. This project also draws on the work of Taika Watiti, whose comedy film and series, 'What We do in the Shadows' follows a group of vampires as they live in modern day Wellington, New Zealand. Watiti's creation of characters in his work, such as 'Jo Jo Rabbit', 'Our Flag means Death' and 'The Hunt for the Wilderpeople', inspires me when writing my own scripts. Creating characters that are out of place in their environment and giving everyday human struggles a dark comedic edge.


I like flawed characters, and I like seeing people who are supposed to be not villains but antagonists. There are elements to them, which are really annoying, but you kind of see where they came from. You see the things that caused those inadequacies.
- Taika Waititi

The music video created for the artist 'Hotel Manlet' in 2022, drew on older influences from German Expressionist horror and French Surrealism. 'The Ballad of The Bellhop' was created to accompany the song, 'Shop Windows', using a short silent film narrative, and imagery reminiscent of 'The Cabinet of Dr Caligari' and 'Nosferatu', both of which are products of German Expressionism.

The German Expressionism movement was popular in the 1920's, primarily before the first world war. It was prevalent in the art and film of the time period and was used by creatives to express emotions rather than to display realism within their work. Film makers of this time period relied on lighting to create atmospheric shadowing and unsettling camera angles to portray the characters inner thoughts and struggles. Much of the development of this movement was down to limited budgets within the industry brought on by Germany's isolation during the first world war. It is a style still used as inspiration in horror films and art house productions today. A recent example being "The Lighthouse" (2019) directed by Robert Eggers. This film shows the isolation of two sailors on a lonely lighthouse posting in North America in the late nineteenth century. Although little happens in terms of story, the film charts the descent into madness of the protagonists with the lighting and framing of the shots creating a visually artistic piece.


The characters of Caligari and Cesare conform to Expressionist conception; the somnambulist, detached from his everyday ambiance, deprived of all individuality, an abstract creature, kills without motive or logic.
- Eisner, 2008

Likewise, the French Surrealist movement was also popular within the 1920's. During this movement nonsensical and distressing imagery was used in cinema to show a person's unconscious mind. "Bubbled", the first piece I created during my time at LIPA, attempted this when I tried to experiment with themes of isolation during lockdown. An example of this is when the baked beans became jellybeans, and the work video call was represented by framed pictures coming to life on a wall.