New York-based photographer and art director Arch McLeish likes the solace of empty places. His photography embraces traces of people, freeing up the space they leave behind for a myriad of interpretations.
Like an iridescent oil spill, McLeish’s work reflects the quiet beauty of the everyday, as he shares snippets of empty streets and urban detritus. McLeish surveys US landscapes with an eye for liminality, his photographic works collecting moments of solitude when plastic carrier bags are struck by evening light and mist collects on sports fields.
His photographs express a vague sense locatedness that is hard to pin down. They are shot in an anonymous city, a kitchen that feels like a half-remembered dream; places that slip into spaces, that could be everywhere and nowhere.
McLeish’s muted palette is dictated by light, the result of time pressed between day and night that emanates mellow blues and yellows, mauve and faded peach. His composition precise and his colours hazy, McLeish likes the romance of sunrise and sunset, ‘the way it can make trash not feel like trash’.
His approach to image making is organic, as McLeish allows himself to be drawn into a scene by shapes and shadows that feel ‘grounded in reality, but suspended in time’. He keeps intervention minimal, composing with restraint and a lightness of hand.
As though located on the fringes of sleep, McLeish’s photographs invite viewers in and suspend them in time, allowing us to share in a moment that will soon pass by into the next.