I can relate to Kevin’s work regarding the life of temporary workers and those on short-term contracts, having worked in similar environments myself and visualising their documentation. I love the fact he just did it. Kevin has taken his situation and explored it, which has resulted in a number of excellent photographs reflecting his lived experience as he reveals night workers and their environment. Two images that stand out for me are the back of the man resting in a chair and the worker smoking. As Kevin was himself one of the night watchmen, it means that the work really resonates for me, as it feels authentic - not an outsider looking in - and you can feel this when looking at the images. As documentary photographers/artists we can struggle to earn money directly from our chosen craft so have to take other forms of employment in order to live. Kevin has taken that experience and just run with it. Very often, the stories are right in front of us.
Christoph’s portraits just pop and jump out at you. I am a big fan of old Benetton colours magazines at the time when Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin were the photographers and Creative Directors. I can see this work sitting well within those publications. I love the use of the bright red background to bring out the faces of people after their haircuts. A simple approach that just works. I also enjoy the sense that something new has just finished and the anticipation of maybe wanting to get the cloak off and enjoy the new feeling of a haircut. The strategies that Christoph has employed enables the viewer to really focus in on the different styles portrayed in much more detail. It is an intriguing approach that encourages us to look at an everyday task such as going to the barbers, in a more graphic way.
I am personally engaged in the creation of an ongoing body of work called Someone’s Rubbish and Carla's work reminds me a great deal of my approach to the subject matter. She has focused on the link between an everyday object and how they relate back to the people who once used them, exploring different ways to relay our personal stories and those of a wider human nature. With the use of a simple black background, the tissues that belonged to mourners are transformed into mini sculptures and you can sense the emotion of the tears they have soaked up and of the pain whilst being scrunched up in people’s hands. It makes one wonder about the life stories of the people who they belonged to.
Ashley’s work really stood out to me, as it is the kind of documentary work I am naturally drawn to – imagery that explores a specific place and the people within it. Throughout my professional practice I have concentrated on promoting real life stories and Ashley’s analysis of monastic life fits perfectly into this genre. The interiors create a great sense of location for the viewer and the portraits have a confident serenity, for example the portrayal of Brother Daniel (with the incense burner). When I was a student, some of the first documentary portraits I saw were August Sander’s Hod Carrier and the Chef, images that still inspire me today. I can feel that same pull within Ashley’s work.