Aaron Sehmar is a Fine Art & Fashion photographer from Coventry, recently graduated with a BA Hons in Photography. His current series, named ‘Out Of Time’ is an immersion into his own personal world made of cinematography, fashion and painting – a way to explore the duality of freedom and constraint in contemporary society, since one can’t exist without the other. As truth and fiction have become blurred in our world, through his work, Aaron, constantly tries to highlight the concept of hyperreality: the inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality. This will result in a series of ambigious staged photographs, thought-provoking, it encourages the viewers to “draw their own narratives from the series.”

What motivated you to study fine arts and photography?

When I was at school, I always wanted to be an author (which is still an ambition of mine), so I never thought that I would end up becoming a photographer – or ever studying a degree in photography. When I started shooting images, I didn’t know much about photography at all, so I think that I decided to study it because I wanted to become more technical and I really wanted to gain a more thorough understanding of photography’s place in society.

Having just graduated from university, I can definitely say that studying photography at degree level has helped me substantially – both on a technical level and also on an academic level – and now one of my future goals is to become a part time lecturer!

According to you, what is integral to the work of an artist?

I think that enjoyment is integral to the work of an artist. The techniques of a craft, such as lighting and composition, are things that can be learned and honed over time, but you can’t learn to enjoy your craft in the same way. I also think that imagination and confidence are pretty integral as you have to really believe in yourself, no matter what career you are in.

Which artists inspire you the most? 

I am really inspired by the photographers Gregory Crewsdon, Cindy Sherman and Alex Prager. Their work is really fascinating as they mix literature, photography and cinema together to produce images that focus on storytelling. There’s something very interesting about how photography can be used to tell stories, both real and fictitious. These photographers have really made me consider the relation between photography and truth and the way that we use photography to document or respond to the world around us.

Also, William Eggleston has become a great inspiration and his work has really made me consider the idea of how “the everyday” is not so banal after all, and I love his use of color!

What art do you most identify with?

I identify with a variety of art. I’m a fan of fine art, literature, interior design, architecture, fashion, photography, cinematography and video. I hope to learn more about other art forms so that it can add to my photography. As a photographer, it’s great to look at a lot of photography but, I find that it is the influences outside of your craft that are reflected within your work that really allows it to become more diverse and different from everyone else in your field.

Also, we’re at a point in society where the lines of each art form are becoming increasingly blurred, so it’s a quite exciting time to be a creative.

With your series ‘Out Of Time’, what themes do you pursue?

The main theme of the series is the duality of freedom and constraint in contemporary society, and the way in which one can’t exist without the other.

I also looked into the concept of hyperreality, and used it as a comment upon the way that we live in a world where the line between truth and fiction has become blurred.

It’s only over the last few years that the reality of our digital age has really hit me, and, even though I’m not that old, I think it is interesting to reflect upon the benefits and repercussions that has, both now and for future generations.

What were your inspirations?

I was largely inspired a lot by cinematography and photographers who produce cinematic photographs. For me, there’s something really intriguing about the way a single photograph can look like a film still, as photography and film both produce a very different effect upon the viewer. I also like this sense of ambiguity within photography: the way in which the viewer is unsure if what they are looking at is a captured moment of the reality we live in or the photographer’s reality that they have constructed.

I was also inspired, and I am constantly inspired by, film noir and old movies. Although I didn’t think much about nostalgia when shooting images for this series, I knew that I wanted them to maintain a sense of timelessness. I am really drawn to these old movies because of the way they portray mystery and suspense in a more primitive way that does not rely on special effects or CGI (Computer-generated imagery). Also, the fashion in these films have a certain sense of impeccability that seems to be lost nowadays.

Is there a specific message you want to share with your public through this work?

The message that I was thinking about when creating this work was the consideration of the state of hyperreality we are living in with the digital age. We now have so much information at our fingertips and we can do so many things thanks to revolutions like the internet. I really wanted to consider this notion and apply it photography; we now have software such as Photoshop to help us. We no longer have to just shoot the world as it is. As artists, we are able to cut and paste our photographs to create images that allow us to reimagine the world around us.

Although this was my intended message, I am always aware that this may not at all be what the viewer sees, or thinks about when viewing the work, and this is also part of the message of the work; how much do we really look at and understand what we are seeing?

Any plans for the future?

I really want to shoot one or two more images before I deem the ‘Out Of Time’ series completely done. All the images so far were shot as part of my final project at university, so I really want to use this time as a graduate to round up the series and really think about marketing it in the right way, as I hope to sell prints of this work.

I’m also planning to experiment with shooting some small videos. I really want to try a bit of experimental film, particularly fashion related, and I’ve got loads of plans to produce photographs on a larger scale. I really want to learn how to build sets and I really want to work with more models and stylists to create images that can be found both in the pages of a fashion magazine as well as on the wall of gallery; a blur between fine art and fashion photography.

Also, at this current moment in time, I am in the process of trying to exhibit my work as much as I can. I currently have pieces of work that are going to be exhibited in London, China and the West Midlands in the UK, so I’m keeping busy by trying to find more places for exposure!

Website: www.aaronsehmarphotography.co.uk
Facebook: Aaron Sehmar Photography
Instagram: @aaronsehmar

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