The photographs of Tom Leighton engage with the urban landscape. By digitally altering photographs, he tries to deconstruct and retranslate the cities that we inhabit. Creating fictional landscapes allows him to ignore the constraints of possibility and logic. However, as much as he pulls apart and constructs his unique urban views, he aims to create a believable view of the world, which verges on the surreal, but remains rooted in reality.
“My photography is very exploratory – I don’t go on planned ‘photo shoots’, but I am constantly trying to track down exciting architecture or city views. In doing so I have to improvise interesting vantage points or use the part of the structure I am photographing as my tripod. This type of experimentation leads to unconventional perspectives and when combined and manipulated gives my work its illusory depth. Frequently I try to leave the viewer of my work floating from an ‘all seeing’ elevated dreamlike perspective – they become disconnected /disassociated and are left reflecting on a vision of urban splendour which simultaneously conflicts with the evident paranoia inherent in contemporary society.
In my work I have complete control as I contort & construct urban spaces. I show a complete disregard for the fundamentals of physics as I introduce gravity defying structures. I chose to use multiple natural light sources to create a collision of shadows and hyper real lighting. All this allows me to produce areas of ambiguity – and by doing so I play with the brains capacity to ignore or falsely correct what doesn’t make sense. My photographs are akin to a memory of a place - a distorted, reconstituted reality.”
Tom Leighton was born in London in 1981. Following his BA in printmaking from the University of Brighton in 2004, he gained an MA from the Royal College of Art in 2006. Throughout his practice, Leighton has worked with urban landscapes. In 2006 he won the John Purcell Paper Prize and the Thames & Hudson Book Prize. He has exhibited in London, Paris, Tokyo and the United States. Collections include The Sandor Family Collection, Chicago, MuCEM (French National Museum of European and Mediterranean civilizations), Tiroche Collection, UK/Israel, The Shein Family Collection of Pennsylvania, Felix Robyns, 12 Advisors Group, London/Brussels, Nicholas Topiol, President of Christian Lacroix, Paris, The UBS Art Collection, JCA Group, London & The Victoria and Albert Museum, London.