Constructed Realities: Seminar with Nick Cobb & Graeme Webb

Saturday 19th February, 2011
10.30am-4.30pm
St James Church
197 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LL - Entrance at side stairwell by Costa Coffee (Map)
Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus

Cost: 30 LIP Member / 33 Non-Member
20 places


This seminar begins with a presentation that tracks both artists' journeys from painting, landscape and still life photography to the area of staged and constructed Imagery. Nick and Graeme will share their artistic processes of developing concepts, planning and building miniature dioramas for making narrative sequences of images.

The presentations cover the motivations and philosophies behind their work and their technical approaches to photography. There will also be discussion on the history of the genre and some of its practitioners.

We would encourage participants to bring photographic work with them for discussion.

About the artists:

Nick Cobb
Nick is an artist and educator who moved from abstract painting 6 years ago to concentrate on building and photographing miniature dioramas. He has built up a body of work which includes office parks, shopping centre car parks, replicas of London city streets and fast food restaurants. Each project ends its life as a series of narrative images which culminate in the production of a photobook. He has exhibited extensively. His recent work has been influenced by the late novels of J.G. Ballard.

Graeme Webb
Graeme works in video post-production and was introduced to the miniature diorama genre by exposure to stop motion animation. His work is highly personal and revolves around his childhood memories and fantasies. He regards his work as a personal form of psychoanalysis and grown up playing. The meticulously detailed images play with elements of scale, texture and lighting and the never ending cycle of nature modifying man's achievements. His influences include the filmmakers Stephen and Timothy Quay and Jiri Barta.

"Graeme Webb's talk was one of the most unusual and inspiring we have had and will certainly influence and encourage members in their own work". - APERTURE GROUP

Nick and Graeme have also formed a new LIP satellite group, Constructed Realities. For details click here.


Responses to the seminar

We all attended this seminar aware of Graeme and Nick's entrancing but sometimes uncanny images and were keen to learn more about their genre of the constructed reality. The day was rainy and dull and a good place to be was in the warmth of the basement of St James church in Piccadilly with these two artists who very generously shared with us their photographic knowledge and expertise of the Diorama. This involved not only explaining their current work but also how they came to this point in their photographic careers. The influences on their work was varied and often personal, the honesty in which they talked was greatly appreciated by all. I became aware that the patience and attention to the narratives they create, together with research they do for each image produces a performance in itself ending with the creation of the final piece of work.

Knowing their journey and the highs and lows on the way made us feel that with a lot of patience and even more experimentation it was within our grasp to at least try and emulate their success A tall order! All of us were impressed with the day and many became keen to become involved in this genre of photographic narrating in such a mythical context of the diorama.
- Judith Jones MA

Thank you for sharing so generously and wholeheartedly your passion and the components of your gorgeous work! It was mesmerizingly interesting and the artists gave us their advice and tips with great generosity! Time seemed to fly away too quickly! - Margaret Mann

Thank you (to you and Nick) for a wonderful seminar last Saturday. I learnt alot about such photography which I knew nothing about previously. - Marina Lewis