Artist Steve Bunn has had a website almost since everyone started having websites, back at the turn of the century. Showcasing his artwork, sculpture and research projects, it acts as a great artist’s portfolio. Much of the visual excitement on the site is generated from his colourful, sensitive portrayals of the human condition in its loneliness and laughter. These photographs of his work needed to be re-displayed to take advantage of the vastly improved screen technology we now enjoy, on both mobile devices and desktop computers. When the website was first devised, image sizes needed to be tiny because bandwidth was so low – remember the chat chat chat of dial-up Internet? – but they didn’t work so well lost in the new expanses of pixel-width.
The brief then was to retain the staged atmosphere of the original site but to allow room for scalable images that would look great on small and large screens. We also wanted to incorporate a little modern technology, such as a contact form and an opportunity for the artist to blog photos and videos.
The previous site was written directly in HTML with static pages. It still worked very efficiently so it was hard to break that apart and start again. But it is always interesting to implement changes that will be able to stand the test of time, and create a more stable and updatable website. I used the Codeigniter framework with PHP and a Mysql database, and because I wanted a very easy-to-update blog page, I integrated one using the WordPress framework. A nice advantage of this is that it avoids the temptation to write a CMS for the whole website when the customer is really only going to update the blog. WordPress has some nice tools and plug-ins for example Contact Form 7 with its recaptcha add on, and ClientDash to simplify the dashboard when blogging.
The portfolio section of the website contains large and small image galleries for sets of images from projects and exhibitions. The names of the subsections are there to inspire enquiry; there is always something going on. From the Weather Project to No Survivors, from Crossings to the Fairground the website transports you on a journey past giant and small objects, and memories of holidays, long summers and deep, cold winters.
You can view Steve Bunn’s website, Mystery of Art, at www.stevebunn.co.uk