Biography note


Henry Bateman

Henry Bateman is a painter turned digital. During the Eighties, he studied fine art, with a painting major, at the Claremont School of Fine Art. Since then he has had three one man exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions. He has also been heavily involved in theatrical set & lighting design for ballet, light opera and straight theatre.

Throughout he was an analogue photographer with a Ricoh SLR sharing space with sketchpads, charcoal and pastels. He had a few works published in life style magazines & corporate reports, but mainly used his photography as a handmaiden for his other pursuits. “Capture the moment, record the detail for inclusion in another work,” he says, “And from time to time capture an image suitable for publication.”

His last “traditional” work, created in 2000, was a carved painting for a government agency depicting the dignity of their work. During that project, he discovered digital photography.

Shortly after he purchased a Fuji point and shoot digital camera which was quickly followed by PhotoShop software. Its immediacy and control have him in its thrall. “The beauty of being a painter is the magical moment when the painting comes to life and tells you what to do,” he states. “Working with digital photography is like that. You start with an image and as you play with it on the computer it comes to life and reveals its secrets.”

With his point & shoot in hand, often literally shooting from the hip, Bateman wanders the streets looking for those moments when we reveal ourselves to the world. He also indulges his theatrical leanings with his documentation of street performers in their many and varied routines. “ I love my point & shoot,” he adds. “It, along with a folded street map make me look like a tourist, non-threatening, ignorable, just one of the crowd.”

The brushes have been abandoned as he paddles in the pixel playground. “It is the best of both worlds,” he says. “There’s the technical accuracy of the camera combined with creative tools of the software. I can work the image the same as I did with a painting. And how much do I love the freedom to experiment that the undo edit provides.”

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