Who am I? Good question ..
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”, a very young Phillip answers: “An inventor! I want to think up and make stuff.”
The inventive and the creative have been key elements in Phillips way of looking at the world from a very young age. No longing to be an astronaut or fireman. Coming up with new ideas, new approaches, new views has been a recurring theme throughout his now 47 years on this planet earth.
Born in Marlow, England, coming from varied genealogy, grandparents from Austria and former Czechoslovakia on the one side who fled from the Nazi purges in the late 1930’s, and from the UK and Italy on the other side, the mix of influences has been complex. One particular cousin, William Timym, an Austrian who arrived in the UK in 1938, also due to the Nazi occupation of his home country, became a well respected sculptor. He was commissioned to create large realistic bronze animal sculptures such as ‘Guy the Gorilla’, that still stands proud in London Zoo today. Interestingly enough, he was also a renowned cartoonist. During many visits to William, Phillip, as a young child, would watch how silver foil chocolate wrappers would transform across the kitchen table into animals of all shapes and sizes, in the nimble hands of William. That innate creative skill was like magic to him.
Post a drawn out parental divorce before he was 10, the death of his mother at 21 and many years in-between, Phil found himself, in his early 20’s in the Netherlands, with his father back in the UK. Throughout this time, computers had become a large part of his life, with coding his logical creative outlet along side his incessant poetry writing. He was also a bachelor of Chemistry by this time. During his coding, images and fractals, started to become an obsession. For those who are unfamiliar with fractals these are highly mathematically based images that result in amazing organic structures. Finally a medium that combined both the inventive, the logical and the visual.
Wanting to move these structures off the screen onto the wall to share these pieces, Phillip researched all aspects of colour printing which turned out was the cost of a small car at the time, not even close to affordable on an interns salary. So, the next best idea, instead of printing these pieces, take a picture of the screen. With todays technology that sounds crazy, but back then, the only viable option to get a colour impression off a computer, was to take a picture of the screen. Btw computers were so slow at the time, to produce a fractal took days of computer time. So each image was a many day journey as he explored fractal space, to get the parameters just right to be able to get the image to take the picture. Using a film SLR in a pitch black room was a new talent to learn, with the practices from the chemistry lab, Phillip took copious notes on each image, exposure time, film type, aperture etc to empirically find out what worked the best for his pieces. After much experimentation he nailed it. Producing many beautiful fractal images on film. This led to producing, matting and framing over 50 images for a local solicitor and then onto successful exhibitions in the local area. The first of many steps.
The experience with photography moved from the analogue world of pictures of the computer screen in a dark room to the outside world.
While still living in the Netherlands he was lucky enough to see, from behind the scenes, how a well renowned Dutch photographer, Goerge Terberg, moved his studio from analogue to digital and performed his art. Seeing the process of creation in the studio and the pieces coming out of George's mind was fascinating. Akin to the kitchen table all those years ago.
Life, family and work have been good to Phillip in the intervening years and now, with the urging of friends and family and feeling the need to share, he started 5-AM IMAGES.
For any questions or comments, please send me a mail.