Rob Will is a Vancouver photographer, visual artist, and intrepid traveller.
I don’t think of myself as a classic photographer. I find that I am increasingly unconcerned by the reality of what passes before my lens, preferring to use my captures as stepping stones to places less traveled or as the building blocks for alternate worlds.
I’m trying not to over-think what I do. My best pieces begin with passing whims; “what if” ideas that lead me along the garden path and down the rabbit hole. I’m not afraid to give an idea the time that it needs to germinate and thrive. My goal is to bring the playfulness that attracted me to art in the first place, back into my creative process.
My earliest creative influences were the covers of the albums that I played as a teenager during the Golden Age of Vinyl; one act plays in miniature that taught me that it was possible to use photography to create as well as to capture. I have been actively pursuing that vision ever since.
I have studied both Architecture and Computer Science – the first taught me that the physical world is crafted by ideas, and the latter taught me that ideas can take more forms than I ever imagined.
My professional path has snaked and writhed like a thing alive; flowing from commercial construction to software design via a tangled web of industrial automation, mobile computing, and video game development. I sorted packages at Canada Post, got down and dirty in the Alberta oilfields, and spent hundreds of lonely nights on the road. I have traveled extensively, dabbled in music, and in competitive fencing. I only regret that I never became a merchant seaman.
• Story Telling: My goal is to engage the viewer as collaborator and co-author. The image sets the stage, and the viewer supplies the narrative. These images are not journalistic, and many have been extensively modified to support the narrative. What they share is a sense that the image’s moment exists as part of a larger story, and that the clues to understanding that story can be found hidden within the image.
• Conceptual Art: My conceptual pieces incorporate sculptural elements, featuring images printed on layers of glass, wood, fabric, metal, and mirrors. The subject matter of these pieces ranges from film noir to medieval battle scenes to ghostly images in a antique mirror.
• Hyper Realism: Life is not always as it seems, and entire worlds exist just beyond the horizon of our vision. In some places, the fabric that conceals these worlds from view is thinner than in others. If I stand just so, and I am blessed with a certain kind of light, sometimes I can see right though that fabric.
• Poetic Abstractions - 7 Visions: Place des Arts (Vancouver 2012)
• Grounded in Reality: The Byng Gallery (Vancouver, 2010)
• Jump Start: The Roundhouse (Vancouver, 2010)
• Photographers on the Edge: The Chi House (Vancouver, 2010)
• Group Show: The Gallery at the West Vancouver Memorial Library (West Vancouver, 2008)
• Artists in Our Midst (Vancouver, 2008, 2010, 2011)
• Group Show: Autumn Brook Gallery (Vancouver 2005)
• Gallery Opening: Autumn Brook Gallery (Vancouver 2005)
• Seen. Unseen: The Gallery at the West Vancouver Memorial Library (West Vancouver, 2005)