Friday 9th September – Andy Hipson. Photography Goes Pop

Andrew Hipson

is a photographic artist. It’s a job description crying out for explanation and the members of Bangor and North Down Camera Club were treated to just such a revelation at the weekly meeting on Friday last. Andrew left his previous employment to escape from the stress of everyday pressures and returned to photography, his erstwhile hobby, as a replacement means of earning a living.

Realising that he would need to offer something innovative if he were to make inroads on a very competitive market he set about finding an artistic direction which would eventually evolve into a distinctive style on which he could base his work. The photographic part of the venture is, as he freely admits, merely a means to an end. Beginning with local landmarks he experimented with Adobe Photoshop enhancement software to find how he could embellish the images to mould them into a unique “look”.

This he demonstrated graphically by exhibiting a picture of Donaghadee lighthouse set against a yellow sky with a violet lifebelt as an added attraction. The bandstand at Bangor seafront shimmered amidst yellow grass and a purple sea while other iconic images like the giant cranes at Harland and Wolff’s were similarly portrayed against attention-grabbing hues. Andrew favours the strongest of primary colours for his surroundings but insists on retaining as much as possible of the integrity of the main subject of the image. Like a dramatic print of the giant fish at Belfast harbour his work offers a new perspective on some well known objects and for this reason is particularly popular with expatriate customers in Australia and Canada. Indeed at present he is preparing for a forthcoming tour of the USA , and New Zealand.

He has also exhibited at The Waterfront and House of Frazer in Belfast and The Curve Gallery in Bangor but even though his style has developed to the point where his work is easily recognised he still continues to refine his approach. He demonstrated some of his latest images, including a striking likeness of the McKee clock in Bangor produced by the screen printing process.

Andrew’s presentation added some fuel to the age-old discussion about whether or not photography is an art form and certainly seemed to suggest that the two are at least compatible.

John Bennett


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