Life often leaves us too fixated with our own daily routines. As we cross a major thoroughfare to work, we tend to ignore minute details, such as the splendor of repeating patterns and the peculiar expressions painted on the faces of passers-by, in favor of our own agendas. Interestingly, this does not hold true for English photographer Nik Strangelove; his photo series Transience zones in on the nuances that define an object or a scenario’s character.
Transience is an ongoing project that started way back in the year 2000, which has already spawned four editions. Nik’s photo excursions for the past 17 years have led him to various corners of the world, including London, Cornwall, Paris, the US, and China. And he intends to cover even more ground in the foreseeable future.
He sees beauty in defacement, oddly colored surfaces, and the biting stigma of grit, with the hues, textures, and other oft-overlooked details taking the forefront in his images. Surface features like graffiti, bricks saddled with wear, and paint peeling off with age naturally pique his interest, perhaps viewing them as vessels for previously undocumented tales or tiny allegories within the integrity of grand fixtures.
As the viewer flips through each image, a growing sense of attachment forms not just with the subjects, but also the stories one may perceive them to carry. For instance, weathered surfaces can convey feats of endurance and the competency of its creators, while the handiwork of vandals may be inferred as a worrisome right of passage, a strong sense of belonging, or simply showcasing one’s prowess with spray paint. Whichever the case, Nik’s anthologies are bound to conjure empathy, with the viewer extending an olive branch to every possibility that begins to make sense.
As a photographer, Nik Strangelove’s works are staples in art and photography exhibitions in England. He will showcase choice cuts from Transience in an upcoming group show called Made in Brixton. One can expect him and his images to appear in even more exhibits in the next several years as his fondness for the processes in involved in deterioration and defacement seemingly springs eternal.