Diana Anghel

University: London College of Communication

Website: www.diana-anghel.com

Statement: My photographic work explores architectural manifestations, memory and the psychology of space. My practice combines both fine art and documentary photography and is always concerned with emotions and the uncanny and themes such as alienation, childhood and identity run throughout my entire body of work. Still Home is a deeply personal project which investigates the impact Brutalist architecture has on our state of mind. Through large-scale manipulated images and documentary photography, the project raises questions about the meaning of architecture as visual inheritance and how people adapted their homes in such authoritarian buildings. 

Still Home photobook

Still Home photobook

What university did you attend and when did you graduate? I graduated from London College of Communication, University of the Arts London with a master's degree in Photography. 

What is your favourite photobook by another photographer? One of my favourite photo books is Alexander Gronsky’s Pastoral. The book is a beautiful depiction of Moscow’s outskirts, a refuge for the locals escaping the socialist architecture. The concrete buildings dominate and dictate people’s interaction with the environment they live in. Yet, intimacy has crept in on this vast public space and has arranged for a beautiful contrast in Gronsky’s images. The easiness of people portrayed in his images is the most appealing to me. Gronsky’s photography is a portrayal of my own childhood landscapes and memories. 

Images from the series Still Home

Images from the series Still Home

Direction: My route to photography was curious, to say the least. I only decided to go to an MA in photography after David Poole, one of my BA Fashion Styling and Communication tutors, also a photographer, guided me towards this path. I was taking a lot of pictures during my time at university, however I’ve never thought for one second I would go into photography. Still, the MA photography course at LCC taught me so many incredible things and it’s the one which ultimately made me consider photography as a long term occupation.

Images from the series Still Home

Images from the series Still Home

Considerations: The decision to create a photobook actually came as a response to my practice and my MA project. Still Home is a deeply personal project which investigates the impact Brutalist architecture has on our state of mind. Through large-scale manipulated images and documentary photography, the project raises questions about the meaning of architecture as visual inheritance and how people adapted their homes in such authoritarian buildings. I decided to use large prints of the exterior of these buildings and have the book, a much intimate and personal object, depict the home interiors. The book was hand crafted by Piotr Jarosz from I make books. We worked very well together and he was great at making use of the ideas I had for the book: the wire stitching, the colours, the simple layout.

Still Home photobook

Still Home photobook

Interior: The book was meant to work both as a separate object and be part of the bigger project that included the exterior prints. Also, the cover was supposed to echo Brutalist architecture - concrete, exposed materials thus the wire and the grey book cloth.

Still Home photobook

Still Home photobook

Inspiration: There are so many amazing photobooks. To name just a few that inspired me: Ponte City by Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse; Guide by William Eggleston; Typologies by Bernd and Hilla Becher.