Sandy Creighton’s work reflects his proposition that by paying attention it is possible to uncover interesting material in his immediate environment that he might normally have overlooked. In the words of Richard Wentworth “in a globalized accessible world, the space outside one’s door might be the most exotic of all” . Faced with an abundance of material, the problem becomes one of discrimination and selection. The challenge is to develop strategies that sidestep intention and deliver the unexpected. Chance procedures, constraints and arbitrary rules can be useful tools to enable this. Creighton feels a powerful impulse to construct patterns and narratives in the face of the chaotic nature of existence, this tendency provides the tension in the way he works with the material he collects.
Creighton is interested in two kinds of relationship between the microcosm of his local area and the macrocosm of the wider world. One is in the notion that a small part can be seen to represent the whole and the other is in the tracing of networks of connections that link everything together. These relationships invest his work with significance beyond mere documentation.
Creighton likes to invite a high level of participation in his work, as in the sound piece, "Rubbish Music", in which viewers are invited to manipulate materials in order to generate sounds. He believes that when viewers physically interact with a piece, they give it their full attention and enter into a more profound dialogue with it.
In the video installation "Front and Back", by using a fixed wildlife camera triggered by a PIR motion sensor, Creighton deliberately constrained the views of the activity on the railway embankment behind his house and on the pavement in front. By using a remote camera operated by an automatic mechanism he intentionally relinquished a degree of control over the images he worked with. Such strategies prevent Creighton from finding only what he is looking for, they uncover the unexpected in the everyday.