Stephen Gill (b. 1971) became interested in photography in his early childhood, thanks to his father and interest in insects and initial obsession with collecting bits of pond life to inspect under his microscope.
As a conceptual artist – and also a bit of a sociologist and poet – he experiments with various unusual techniques in his documentation of the district of Hackney in East London. Among his working methods were burying photos (Buried), creating lavish collages with flowers and seeds (Hackney Flowers) and placing objects in the camera so that they left their traces on the film, causing confusion about the scale of the images (Talking to Ants). His aim was to encourage the spirit of the place to become trapped in the emulsion like amber creating a series of surreal interventions in the photographs. He physically inserting bits and pieces of detritus inside the camera body before photographing his local surroundings.