You know when you buy a book and you read the author's biography on the inside front cover where it lists the various jobs they've held while they were starving? Dishwasher, yoga teacher, security guard, milkman, house painter, hander-out of yoghurt samples and so on?
I always pretend to think that you can judge the quality of a writer by the eclecticism and randomness of their CV. Surely it's necessary to absorb the rich life lessons offered by a succession of unrelated occupations in order to crank out that first great novel.
Well, I haven't handed out free yoghurt samples to early morning city centre traffic, dressed as Madonna, for quite some time now and I'm not even sure how I'd feasibly work that into a compelling plot. It's probably better, then, that I didn't become a writer.
Nevertheless, I'm forced to admit that making good images is a lot like writing well. There are issues of structure and style to be considered in both cases, and you have to know exactly just what it is you'd like to say. And then you must say it well.
There is nothing new under the sun. Everything there is to be said has been said before and everything there is to look at has been seen before. Yet every image is new, having never been made before in this precise arrangement or with that specific sensibility.
Creating a good image means looking at the same old world with fresh eyes. Everything that falls within the frame must be considered, balanced and synergised. There is a very satisfying pleasure that arrives when elements are settled in a composition: something clicks within. An image is always made with a purpose in mind and, in pursuit of that, if it can be made beautiful too I feel like I'm looking at a great piece of work.
Mike Hannon is a video artist and film maker whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally over the last ten years. He became interested in the moving image while studying for a BA Fine in Fine Art at the Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork. His practice as a cinematographer has been honed on a wide variety of successful projects, including ethnographic documentary, narrative cinema, experimental music video and visual art. His skill derives from a keen compositional eye, and a sensitive understanding of how the nature of a given project has varying implications for rhythm, emotion and meaning.
Mike Hannon works as an independent artist, and as a freelance documentor for creative sectors and the visual arts. He teaches Digital Imaging on a part time basis at CIT Crawford College of Art & Design. He has a number of years’ experience as an architectural photographer and videographer at Murray Ó Laoire Architects, Cork (2007-2010). Prior to this he worked as project assistant at the National Sculpture Factory, Cork (2006-2007).
Mike Hannon Media offers photographic and video documentation to creative and commercial clients. He has produced documentary and marketing photography and promotional videos for: Raven Design, IMMA, Irish Youth Choir, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork Opera House, National Scultpure Factory, Black Mariah Gallery, Cork Printmakers, Art Trail, Cork City Council, University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology, RKD Architects, Bruce Shaw, BAM, Clúid Housing Association, Dairygold, Johnson & Johnson.
Mike has developed a number of succesful documentary films that have been awarded and screened internationally, and on TV. Here the film maker’s training as an artist and experience with moving image technology and software is invaluable and informs all stages of the laborious production processes to realise a great idea in film.
Mike has completed a number of major commissons, including a Per Cent for Art type scheme for Clúid Housing Association. Grist to the Mill was a process based community art project with the residents of a sheltered housing scheme. Participants were given a crash course in creative, expressive photography, culminating in an exhibition, publication and documentary film. Previous commissions include Terminal Convention, an experimental documentary for Static Gallery, Liverpool, and an ongoing photographic study of Cork Docklands for the National Sculpture Factory and Cork City Council.