Robin Collyer

Yonge St., Willowdale #4 © Robin Collyer
Retouched colour photograph, 1995
Measurements: 20 x 24 in.; 50.8 x 61.0 cm

Drugstore ©Robin Collyer
Retouched colour photograph, 1996
Measurements: 20 x 24 in.; 50.8 x 61.0 cm
Other information: Series of 5. Courtesy of Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto.

Robin Collyer was born in London, England in 1949.
He currently lives and works in Toronto.

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4 thoughts on “Robin Collyer

  1. Being that this is a set of two photographs I cannot help but to compare and contrast them. Immediately my mind takes note that the building in the first image resembles the shelves in the second. I wonder, is this on purpose? The latter of the two is taken a full year after the former so now I wonder if the photographer saw the second image and it reminded him of the scene he had captured the previous year. I can’t help but think that this is the incentive behind the second shot. The colors even match, not in exact sequence, but all of the main colors in the first are represented in the second. The bottom photograph tells us that these belong in the same series. Why? What information do the other photographs in the series contain? Do they match in sequence? By only presenting two images in a series of five the viewer cannot help but ask these questions along with hundreds of other ‘why’ questions. Information within a single photograph is limiting, but when adding it to a series of images, the information becomes even more limited still.

    In contrast, the first image allows for the presence of shadows whereas the second does not. Furthermore, the positioning or rather arrangement of the images within the frame is different. The top image is horizontally flat whereas the bottom image is skewed within the frame. What is the reasoning for this obvious difference? Why incorporate difference when the trend was assumed to be constant comparison? Does this mean there was no actual comparison in the first place and that the similarities only existed in the minds of the viewers, not of the photographer? If so, then what is the purpose of this series? Anytime two or more images are grouped together various questions surrounding their relationship arise thus taking away from the content of each individual photograph. I cannot help but see these images as a pair instead of two separate photographs representing completely different scenes.

  2. I’m not as convinced that these images belong together as the first commenter was; but if they do, that’s fine too. What I noticed first about these images is the lack of logos. The photos are kind of small to be sure, but it appears as though the photographer edited out the logos and labels in both images. In the first, the signs are empty and blank, just shapes full of color. In the second photograph, the rows of what looks like medicine, are void of the usual in-your-face logos and brandings we as consumers are accustom to. A world without branding, I can’t even image it. I am so blinded by tons of stimuli and details of brand names and logos, large type font, and every type font, that there is an immediate eerie stillness about the photographs above.

  3. I agree with Jennifer on this one. The removal of text, logos, and signage creates almost eerie environments in these photos. It’s a compelling way to show how overwhelmed we are by advertising.

  4. At first i wasn’t interested in these photos. The simplicity of the images makes me believe that anyone can take a picture like this. BUT when i noticed the repetitive colored areas throughout the photo’s, it shows you put some thought into it. The bright orange shapes contrasting with the blue sky in the first image is working well.

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