After working in Milan as a fashion photographer, Robin Cracknell moved to London in the late 1980's where his portfolio of personal work led to a decade of commissions from publishers and art directors for posters, magazine covers and over 300 book jackets. His technique of combining cinematography with traditional still photography and various mixed media came about from spending many of those years killing time in the ICA projection booth, watching obscure movies and learning about the 'cine process' he still uses today.
After unexpectedly becoming a single father in 1997, Robin refused commissions for eight years to concentrate solely on raising his son. In September 2006, a series of photographs documenting this period was selected by Saatchi Art for a show curated by readers of The Guardian as well as noted gallery owners, critics and artists and Robin's work was personally nominated by sculptor Marc Quinn.
Shortly thereafter, these photographs and notebooks from that period became his first solo exhibition entitled 'The Camera Suture' at The Whitecross Gallery in London. Since then, his work has been widely published and exhibited including, notably, Eyemazing Magazine and The Michael Hoppen Gallery. His photographs are also in various private collections internationally as well as The National Portrait Gallery in London and the Fundacion Privada Sorigue, a museum of contemporary art in Lleida, Spain. A selection of his notebooks will be included in a Thames and Hudson publication entitled ‘Photographers’ Sketchbooks’ out later this year.
I'm interested in death and impermanence, how things shine and how they disappear. How love comes and goes. I find film beautiful. How it fades and disintegrates.
I use no digital processes whatsoever. I work with old cameras and salvaged 35mm cine film only; blending traditional film photography with cinematography, the intention being to give these 'still' pictures a vaguely narrative quality that I hope speaks about love, loss and memory. In Portuguese, the word is 'saudade'-- a love steeped in sadness, 'to feel what no longer exists'. By definition, that is what photography does--to stop time, fend off oblivion, allow us to feel what no longer exists-- to remind us of what we have lost or have never had.