Ren Rox is a London-based photographer shooting all-analogue material in a variety of fields, including landscape, fashion and portraiture as well as some more personal projects. Using mainly 35mm colour and black and white film, Rox’s dreamlike atmospheres are achieved through experimentation via in-camera techniques. Rox takes plenty of multiple exposure shots, which is how she creates duplicates of her subjects and often gives viewers the impression that they are seeing double. In addition to her double exposure shots, Rox uses a combination of manual methods to alter her images, ranging from hand painting her photos to purposely inflicting them with chemical damage. Her method may be unorthodox and fairly laborious, but the dazzling outcomes are worth all the effort.
One of the captivating elements of Rox’s work is that it’s often unclear which elements of her photos are part of the original photograph and which parts are the result of multiple exposures or manual damage. It brings it to question the very nature of the “realness” of photography, as many of her images closely resemble other art mediums, such as watercolour paintings. Much of her work, and the process that lies behind it, is alike that of fellow Londoner Catherine Yass, whose work aims to demonstrate the physicality of the film process.
Aspects like colour and texture become a subject within themselves in much of Rox’s work. Not only do the vivid colours help to enhance many of her landscape shots, but they also become a way of isolating the people (and their semblance) within her photos. Above, our eyes are immediately drawn to the bright red of the figure’s dress. This, along with her pose and her cast-off glance, creates a subject who looks as though she is an outsider who has been thrown suddenly into Rox’s carefully fabricated world.
Whether she decides to go with softer tones or uses the caustic influence of household chemicals to enhance her work, Rox is able to capture horizons from the natural world and turn them into something almost mythical.
In addition to her otherworldly scenes, Rox also holds an impressive portfolio of portrait and fashion photography, which you can explore further on her website. And although she often works with bright neon hues, she also has collections of black and white photography, demonstrating her versatile style and diverse skill-set as a film photographer.
Like her landscape shots, Rox brings an element of abstraction to her portraiture. Whether they’re portrayed with a full spectrum of silky colours, or with stark monochrome, her subjects oft carry an unearthly, goddess-like aura about them.