It all comes down to this notion of ‘touching vs mastering’. Unlike collages which require some sense of composition and formality, I try and keep these notebooks loose and gestural and, to that end, they are very liberating. There is an immediacy to scribbled paper; a completely different process to the tedium and ‘preciousness’ of producing ‘proper’ exhibition-quality prints. I welcome their mistakes and imperfections and am happiest if they appear unfinished. Apart from anything else, I also just happen to love the sensation of mark-making, the bite and drag of a pencil, the grey smudge of an eraser, torn edges of masking tape. Whatever the aesthetic results, these pages are simply a gathering of nagging, incomplete thoughts… a dredging up of unknowns, attempts at giving form to feelings.
Since his first major solo exhibition in 2007 entitled ‘The Camera Suture’ at The Whitecross Gallery in London, Robin Cracknell’s work has been widely exhibited internationally including, notably, a Saatchi-curated show at The Michael Hoppen Gallery in London and a solo show at Sous Les Etoiles in New York. A selection of his notebooks is featured in the acclaimed Thames and Hudson publication, ‘Photographers’ Sketchbooks’ with further work from his ‘Childhood’ series in Thames and Hudson’s ‘Family Photography Now’. His work has been reviewed and featured in many magazines including The New Yorker and Eyemazing Magazine and over 300 book cover commissions from every major publisher worldwide.
Robin Cracknell’s photographs are in various private collections internationally as well as The National Portrait Gallery in London, The Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Fundacion Privada Sorigue, a museum of contemporary art in Lleida, Spain.