Commentary by Ziggy Evitts

I thought it would be easy writing about this. I'm a writer, this is what I do. I even studied photography at university, so I'm qualified in a sense and there really is no excuse. This is 1061, a little upended rectangle of colors hissing between that cardinal red you know and the thousand more reds yet to be given good names.

The problem is that I can't write about her like she's just some other photograph and I don't know where to begin. Now, with background information about the processes involved, yes, I do have ideas about what Wynn Bullock did technically, chemically, before and after this particular Kodachrome frame was exposed. I could start with that, but that would be a reduction. It would leave her as just the distances between chunks of broken telescope lens, as numbers on faded paper, and the temperatures of old forgotten lights. She's too good for that.

It's not much use throwing theory or analysis at her either. What is the narrative subject, for example? None. What is visual subject? I don't know. What is the foreground image even? Not certain. How would you describe the depth of field? I'd rather not. What message is the photographer trying to convey here? I have no idea.

From a broader art history stance, I can put an Abstract net over her, but it won't catch the real worth and the weight of the Color Light Abstraction. 1061 and her siblings were never part of an identifiable fashion, school, trend or movement in the photographic arts. She can be comfortably described as either a primal daub on a cave wall or as a futurist shard in digitally rendered glass. And the closer I look, the further she moves away, unfolding perspectives within perspectives, areas of focus within blurs of blurs of focus. Her shapes suggest energy, motion, when all the while her forms have a stillness that suggests something with the unmoving grace of distant celestials, nebulas frozen a billion years past.

Now, I'll try and settle at some firm descriptive bedrock, that of Hubble-like macrocosmic imagery, of falling stars and crashing galaxies. Then I look again and I see something of intense microscopy, the flickered edges of a paint drop, lying deep in the Venetian sunset of a two-hundred-year-old Turner.

Going with this theme, if 1061 really were a painting of some kind, a convenient smearing of oils on a board, there would be no need to look for such common ground or visual reference. For as everyone in the West agrees, or is told to agree, everyone can interpret abstract art as so ever they like and they will all be equally as right and wrong.

1061 is a photograph though, not a contrivance. She happened and was captured by impartial lenses and objective crystals. There is an undeniable reality about her. She has the perfection of a chemical reaction and she lacks the familiarity, the warmth, of an object made with human hands. She is aloof of meaning and feeling; she is as definitive and stable as an X-Ray or a family portrait. The only differences are we are not familiar with the forms - we know that she 'is', but we do not know what.

This is why trying to write and talk and indeed think more about the Color Light Abstraction series is important, because in interpreting the physical realities that Wynn Bullock abstracted into perpetuity, we are moved to better understand our own relationships with reality.

In the press of her golden side against her amber arm, there is every structure we can make out of art and nature, with a few left over for music and science.

Then in the darkness, on the left smooth plane of her silhouette, there is space for the imaginative lanterns of our questions and our perceptions to be lit.

And lastly, just beyond 1061's four simple corners, there is the future, the universe of photons that were traveling a microsecond behind those that made it through the glass in time, forever.

Text © 2012 Ziggy Evitts. All rights reserved.