Patrick Winfield has been shooting Polaroid cameras since 1998 and using Impossible films since the very beginning. His go-to camera is the SX-70 – the full control over focusing and framing make it an integral part of his process. He splits his time between the studio and outdoors depending on the type or subject matter that he’s working on, and pieces together hypnotising collages with the diverse fragments of his work.
“Instant analog film has this feeling of being infused with a sort of creamy nostalgia, either from our collective cultural memory of the past or how the image was captured and controlled or lack thereof. I shoot with Impossible Project film because it is a quality product, and it still allows the process to be guided by chance and the elements to some degree. I am a big fan of camera-less techniques and believe the photogram is a wonderful way to make an image. Something about this one to one scale and being in the dark as you work that is very intriguing. Also, I like to play up the surface quality of the film by manipulating it during development.
I want the viewer to bring their own lives to the image when they experience it.
I am interested in the mysteries of perception and memory as well as the flexibility and fragility of the human mind. The device of the grid creates these blank “in-betweens” to the picture field. It acts as a visual anchor that holds the various parts of the whole together. Similar to the way a comic may be played out in panels and frames, some with more importance than others, the information that is chosen is very much an encapsulation of an idea. In some situations the richness of our individual experience is largely not real, sometimes we actually “see” very little and rely on educated guesswork to fill in the gaps. I try to stay away from being didactic or ingraining any narrative. I like the work to reside in this area were the fragmented comes into focus, to experiment and be playful.
My work is very much process driven, if I can see the end in sight from the start I usually lose interest and take a different approach. I would rather the work unravel itself or be revealed as I go. That being said, I do work on collaborations that are dictated by a concept where I have an end image in mind that I strive to hit the mark on. Art history is a perpetual inspiration to me. Everything can inspire, but I think the important part is to just get to work and let inspiration find you instead of seeking out inspiration before hand. It’s all about being curious. I always feel that my work is strongest then I want to keep looking at it. I want to be able to live with the work. The next one, that’s my favourite.”