Born: Shrewsbury
Lives and works: Birmingham
Education: Birmingham City University
Awards: Creativepool Annual (2016), Creative Review Photography Annual (2015)
Exhibitions: Exposition (2018), Argentea Gallery (2018), IN:SIGHT (2016)
“We’re pushing the boundaries to understand the true potential of working with ink in water.”

Combining high-speed photography, moving images and ethereal soundscapes, Plume’s surreal ink-in-water art marked them out as a rising talent at our Summer Exhibition in 2016.


The art collective comprises graphic designer Ernest Otoo and photographer Andy Pilsbury. Inspired by artists such as Leif Podhajský, Samuel Burgess-Johnson, Phill Blake and Richard Mosse, they describe their work as “escapism through exploring” and aim to revolutionise the use of ink and its effect on the viewer.

Each piece starts by setting up lighting around a clean fish tank before Ernest drops in the ink to build the composition. Andy photographs the emerging artwork, with the strongest images subtly retouched to enhance the vibrancy. Ernest’s design perspective allows him to objectively assess the aesthetics, while Andy uses his technical understanding of light to react quickly to the ink.

Plume says: “It’s a voyeuristic look at the hypnotic behaviour of different-coloured paints in water. We’re pushing the boundaries to understand the true potential.”

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Inside the world of Plume

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From the blog

Revolutionising ink-in-water art with Plume

Contemporary artist collective are pushing the boundaries of the medium, one photograph at a time.

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