Lumen, a new legend, by Michael Taylor

Lumen, a new legend, by Michael Taylor
Isabel del Rio

Michael Taylor photography

‘Give me a light,’ Diogenes Laertius said. ‘Give me a light… to look for a Man’. From the beginning, the light take us out of the darkness. Then, shapes, movements and expressions start to appear and to create our reality, corporeal. ‘Light, more light,’ Goethe claimed shortly before his death. Words difficult to interpret, a cry of revolt, of someone who wanted to be born again, with the light, incorporeal.

Michael Taylor photography. Light Trace 05

Michael Taylor photography. Light Trace 05

Then, the work of Michael Taylor leads us to our roots, to just this second of eternity which also is the birth of Art. Difficult technique of a great photographer. He uses electroluminescent wire:  a current is passed through a copper wire causing the surrounding phosphor coating to emit light.  The wire was wrapped around/within custom-made costumes worn by the model.  The model’s movements were then recorded, introducing a kinetic element. Images were also made using opaque and transparent mannequins. Yes, difficult technique used in his Luminescence project but, yes, spectacular result. Beautiful photos that catch our attention because of his plasticity and, also, because they lead us to that mythical word of our beginnings, corporeal and incorporeal, what we call Art.

Michael Taylor likes challenges. In his Light Trace project, he has worked with Tokyo-based light artist/ fashion designer, Erina Kashihara. Here, light emitted from within clothing and accessories combined with directed movements clothe the model within traces of light. In the end, light becomes the conduit between Art and fashion, model and artist, photographer and designer.

And the challenge continues in his Wave project. There is abstraction with a human presence.  Images of light waves in water, glass, air and materials were projected onto the model. Film and analogue projection techniques were used.

Michael Taylor photography. Light Trace 24

Michael Taylor photography. Light Trace 24

Three bodies of work in this fantastic Lumen series, full of challenges, of cooperation, of technique but, also, of meanings. Michael Taylor is creating a new legend. This is a creation, this is Art.



Model: Sara Dylan; Costumes : Lynne Dick; Styling: Barbara Ann Carville and Lisa Lavery (mannequins).

Embrace (Luminescence 78) models: Susan Davey and Leon McNamee.

Portraits: Model: Cheryl Comfort; MUA: Marian Millar; Hair: Gillian Cargo; Styling: Barbara Ann Carville.

Venue: Cube Theatre, Belfast.


Light Trace

Model: Laura Cherry; Hair: Charlie Manns (Electric Hairdressing); Styling: Erina Kashihara.

Michael Taylor photography. Wave  39

Michael Taylor photography. Wave 39

Assistance and studio in London: Jon Gray



Model: Katy Cee; Assistance: François Boutemy at Simulacra Studios, London.

Light images were photographed throughout Northern Ireland and Southern France.


He is a full time photographer currently living/working in Belfast.  He was born in a small market town called Ballymoney near the beautiful North coast of Antrim.  His work has been exhibited in Belfast, Dublin, London and Melbourne.

Michael Taylor photography. Wave 50

Michael Taylor photography. Wave 50

Michael Taylor photography. Luminescence  62

Michael Taylor photography. Luminescence 62

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