Rob Maslen's Photographic Portfolio


I have always used the Dadaist technique of the dérive, as a source of inspiration in my photography, which Guy Debord defined as ‘locomotion without a goal,’ in which ‘persons during a certain period drop their usual motives for movement and action, their relations, their work and leisure activities, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there.’

Working in this way I found that different themes emerge over time, two of which are represented by the collections titled ‘Abstracts’ and ‘Messages’. These were taken in a long series of dérives in the late ‘90s to early 2000s, threading through the post-industrial landscapes and interzones of the Lea and lower Thames river banks.

While previously I was looking for signs in the wilderness of London’s fringes, in the past few years I have turned towards the city. Working in the same way in the financial centre has produced my ‘Exotic Landscapes’ series, inspired by the paintings of Henri Rousseau, and a series of triptychs.