Established, UK based artist working with a range of media including: photography, text, moving-image and sourced, online material.
Ames' interest in photography began when he trained to become an evidence photographer whilst serving as a combat soldier in the British Army. Documenting terrorist scenes-of-crime and chronicling his day-to-day experiences of 'the Troubles' whilst on a six month tour-of-duty in Northern Ireland, proved to be the catalyst for developing his fascination with the medium.
Developing a wide-range of visual and image/text strategies, Ames offers alternative understandings of conflict and systems of control that seek to question established conventions.
Collectively, his early work draws heavily from his personal experience of his time in the military. However, Ames’ practice also encompass his wider research interests, particularly contemporary representations of conflict and the military.
Working in collaboration with British Armed Forces veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan (alongside veterans' organisations and charities, such as the Royal British Legion), he has also explored the 'unseen' consequences of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in an attempt to raise awareness of this complex and often misunderstood condition. His attentions have also focussed on the commodification of contemporary conflict by both civilian communities and military institutions.
Later projects have shifted towards new areas of interest, exploring issues such as Brexit and the disturbing rise of nationalist and far-right ideologies, as well as the caustic language of division and hatred that permeates contemporary culture.
Responding to a range of increasingly interconnected themes his most recent works involve scrutinising and then (re)visualising those who wield and shape political power on the global stage ('Official Portraits for a Post-Truth Era' and 'Photo-Op memes' and 'The Infernal Divide'), as well as exposing the disturbing implication once symbols of prejudice and hatred become normalised.
Shutter Hub Open 20/21
The Wrong Biennale: Sunderland Pavilion
Sunderland (2019 - 2020)
Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (Collections Space)
National Glass Centre
Kunstfort Asperen & Kuntsfort bij VijFhuizen,
The Netherlands (2015)
‘Frames: Projecting International Photography’.
Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art
Belfast Exposed and the MAC
Margate (2011 - 2012)
Bradford International Photography Festival
’Inkubator II: Bunker’
DLI Museum and Art Gallery
‘Tour Photographs’ (Featured in ‘War Memorial’ by Julian Germain)
Brighton Photo Biennial. Aspex Gallery
Hug Gallery for International Photography
Huis Marseille and FOAM Institute
‘Visions and Anxieties’
Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art (Project Space)
‘Left Right Left’ & ‘Tour Photographs’
Baltic: Centre for Contemporary Art
'Year One: A Snapshot of Britain' (Curated by Martin Parr)
The Photographers' Gallery
'Badges of Dishonour'
Self-Published Artist's Book - Artist's Edition of 50 (2020)
Self-Published Newspaper - Artist's Edition of 50 (2016)
'Format 15: Evidence’
Published by Quad/Format (2015)
'de Marseillaise: Fifteen Years of Collecting’
Published by Huis Marseille (2014)
‘Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography'
Published by Belfast Exposed and the MAC (2013)
'Evidence: Ways of Looking’
Published by Impressions Gallery (2011)
'Nothing in the World But Youth
Published by Turner Contemporary Press (2011)
Self-Published - Artist's Edition of 50 (2009)
‘Made in Britain: Contemporary British Photography’
Published by Huis Marseille & FOAM Institute (2005)
'Left Right Left’
Published by PhotoNorth (2003)
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Belfast Exposed, Belfast
Huis Marseille: Museum of Photography, Amsterdam
Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland
© Craig Ames 2020. All rights reserved.
With thanks to the many organisations and institutions that have supported me over the years, including:
research is currently underway which is centred around artificial intelligence, machine learning and machine vision, as well as virtual and augmented realities and simulations.
'Variations on a Theme of England'
(New landscape project in the early stages of development. More info and images to follow...)