Light Painting: 18 September

Ever wondered what you could do with glow-sticks and tiny miniature figures? Ilkley Camera Club welcomed Glasgow-based artist David Gilliver to their Zoom meeting on Friday 18 September for a look at his unique creations and techniques. His work has been published across the UK and internationally in mainstream newspapers and in advertising campaigns.

David specialises in experimental long-exposure photography in which he “paints” with light to add stunningly beautiful and ethereal light trails to landscapes and cityscapes. “I want to distill a passage of time into a single photograph,” he explained.  His work is made in the camera with very little additional work in Photoshop. “I want people to know that what they are seeing has been done at the time of shooting and not added later”.

By day he constructs comic stories using tiny plastic figures obtained from the internet. He then creates sets for the figures using familiar household objects such as cheese-grater mountains and ski slopes made of meringues.

In a series of pieces inspired by COVID 19 he gives a darkly humorous twist to lockdown including figures guarding giant stockpiles of toilet rolls and tiny swimmers on a sea made of face masks. He was careful to say that he didn’t want to trivialise this terrible year but thought that humour could help lighten the mood.

His concern for the natural environment came over strongly.   Life in Plastic was a series created with bags full of plastic collected from beautify spots, including some from Scottish Lochs. These humorous and at times disturbing pieces feature miniature people pitted against giant pieces of the discarded plastic.

You can see some of David Gilliver’s work at

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