Played out in the more intimate environment of an interior, Nigel Shafran’s (b. 1964) Sewing kit (on plastic table) Alma place invites an imaginary investigation, initiated by the position of the sewing box on the side table, which creates a balancing act, a totem of domesticity. Shafran’s photography often uses forms found in daily life-washing-up on a draining board, construction scaffolding, grass cuttings. With an understated photographic style, use of ambient light and relatively long exposures, he transforms these scenes into poetic observations about the ways we conduct our lives through our unconscious acts of ordering, stacking and displaying objects. There is something highly intuitive in Shafran’s way of working. He resists the urge to construct a scene to be photographed; rather, his is a process of staying attuned to the possibilities of everyday subjects as a means of exploring our characters and ways of life.

The Photograph as Contemporary Art
Charlotte Cotton