I Spy Pinhole Eye was published by Cinnamon Press in October 2009. It was awarded the Arts Council Wales Book of the Year Award in 2010.
This collaborative work of photographs by Simon Denison and poems by Philip Gross addresses ideas of perception, revelation and truth. The camera sees differently from the human eye, yet suggests what might be perceived if we could only see more imaginatively than we normally do. The most mundane of objects – the footings of electricity pylons – are photographed with a small handmade pinhole camera and transfigured into dark poetic images that release worlds of association. Philip Gross’s poems, responding to the photographs, step back inside the eye of the pinhole camera to explore the act of seeing and interpretation, producing a set of resonant, acutely perceptive and profound statements about photography and photographic seeing.
In the Foreword to the book, the poet George Szirtes wrote: 'What Denison presents – the dark rootings of steel and concrete; the feeling of something slamming into the earth, establishing its narrow vocabulary of grass, stone, mould, leaf, strut, and the strange, focused moony chill that freezes everything – moves through the clarity, steadiness and humaneness of Philip Gross’s verbal imagination to create something new ...'
'Why the feet of pylons? Many would regard them as a profoundly odd photographic subject ...' For the complete text of Simon Denison's Endnotes, click here.
In a Master's Degree thesis submitted to VU University, Amsterdam in 2014, Babeth Bruijn wrote:
'I Spy Pinhole Eye critically reflects on contemporary western (visual) culture ... Gross and Denison could be regarded as providing an answer to [W.J.T.] Mitchell’s final words in Picture Theory that “though we probably cannot change the world, we can continue to describe it critically, and interpret it accurately. In a time of global misrepresentation, disinformation, and systemic mendacity, that may be the moral equivalent of intervention”. I Spy Pinhole Eye does just this as ... it presents its audience with an insightful poetic-photographic antidote to popular visual culture.'
For the complete text of Babeth Bruijn's paper, click here.
I Spy Pinhole Eye (rrp £11.99) is available to buy from any good bookshop, or direct from Cinnamon Press.
Click on thumbnails below for larger images