Artist Cai Aled Groves, photographer from Wales, UK. The inspiration behind this particular series focused on the phrase “Desire” – “A feeling that there is an area of an individual’s life that is totally under his or her control, an area that is free from outside intrusion”. Groves works are an intimate image of the somewhat mundane and customary. Locations and situations we all find ourselves in daily but never able to see the beauty in. After graduating from Swansea Metropolitan University the artist found himself photographing music festivals and commercial projects. Voyeurism is a significant quality to the artists work, adding a bit of titty for our pleasure!
Where are you living at the moment? Where did you come from?
I’m currently based in Cardiff, I originally grew up in Cwmbran and moved to a town called Talgarth, where I spent a majority of my life, from there to Hereford to studied at art college, then on to Swansea for my photography degree.
How would you describe your own work in three words?
Breaking personal space.
What was the passion behind the camera when you first started?
My dad used to teach photography, so I was always around some sort of camera growing up, I used to love photographing anyone and everything when I was on holiday and it sort of became a hobby, we weren’t allowed to do photography in high school growing up so I always did it on the side, it was only until I went to art college and had to chance to spend endless hours in the dark rooms that I really started to develop a passion for it, I always enjoyed photographing people, my parents run a bed and breakfast so I was always surrounded by strangers, I wanted to capture people in the everyday, the banal, I think it becomes exciting because of the age we now live in, as people now become wary of the camera and whom it is pointed to.
How do you feel about nudity and how do you feel when you’re naked?
I personally enjoy being naked, and around other people, its a very basic human concept but we always become wary of how we present ourselves or how other people see us.
Who/ what is your spirit animal?
The almighty dragon, okay not realistic but I’m Welsh right?
Where do you find you inspiration?
I’ve always found inspiration from photographers who explore the notion of voyeurism, the art of peeking as some would call it, I can’t say how much the exhibition exposed: voyeurism surveillance and camera had such a profound influence on me, look it up, read the book, it’ll explain better than I ever could.
What other artists can you relate to in your own work?
Sophie Calle had a profound influence over me growing up, her work “the hotel room 47” hit a cord with me because of living in a hotel myself, I start photographing all the guests rooms and their belongings, trying to figure how much you could learn about someone souly from what they own placed into a photograph, I took this notion of maybe photographing where I shouldn’t into my personal life, the streets, everywhere.
Bas Jan Ader, Henry Callahan, Wegee, Nan Goldin, Shizuka Yokomizo are all artists that have made an impact on me in some way.
What’s your advice for young artists trying to make it?
The term ‘make it’ might be lost in translation, do you want to earn money from your work? Have it as a career? Artistic gratification? I think for anyone you need to keep yourself surrounded by positive people who make art, it’ll keep your ideas flowing because you’ll always be finding inspiration from somewhere or someone, for myself, I haven’t given up photography, I currently have a career as a chef but the photography is something that still pushes me to be creative, and I’ll always want to keep myself in this world I’ve only just started photographing.