University: University of Salford
Statement: Hello! My name is Kieran Boswell, I am a UK based photographer who shoots home interior products for my day job. My personal work investigates theories around consumerism and the culture we live in.
I take inspiration from objects I have observed past and present and try to reflect this in my work.
I have also created some small zines, Hinter Dem Vorhang (behind the curtain) is the work I will be writing about for Photograd. For this body of work I took influence from the following Graham Clarke quote regarding a El Lissitsky photograph:
an abrasive self-portrait, which, in a programmatic sense, sets out the idea of artist/photographer within both social and individual change. We are so to speak, the architects of our own selves
What is your favourite photobook by another photographer? My favourite photobook is a tie between two by the same artist. Illuminance and Sheets both by Rinko Kawauchi. If I really had to choose, then I would sway with Sheets. The book is a collection of Rinko’s contact sheets, curated in such a way that the colours and pages compliment each other so well. The images that document her everyday life read like visual poetry! Awesome stuff.
Direction: Having originally studied photography as an a-level over 15 years ago – it was something I didn’t carry on with until my late twenties. I left an office job to travel around the world, and picked up a camera in Australia. I then started to use it to document countries I visited. Upon returning to the UK, I needed a new direction and didn’t want to fall back into my old job – so I enrolled on a photography degree and used my travel themed images as a portfolio. I was introduced to the world of photobooks and decided to explore ways of showcasing my work through zines.
Considerations: For my small book Hinter Dem Vorhang, where the work was about culture and our obsession with ‘self’ – I opted to use a zine/book format over prints. My reasoning for this was an idea of elevation, giving something a higher pedestal. A book of images centered around our selfie culture seemed an apparent and vain way to get my point across.
For my other zine, Hashtag Stories the work was centered around our social media culture, so I opted to use fonts and graphics that would be well known visually to an avid social media user.
I like working relatively small. A5 to be precise. Everything I was being exposed to at university seemed to be huge… large format prints hung on the wall in a gallery space. I wanted to make something that anyone could find themselves looking at. Coffee table artwork.
Interior: As someone who works with images daily I am biased towards books with less text – especially art or photography books. I tend to write a small précis, but then let the images do the rest with how they are placed throughout. Colour, objects, and compositions are all important factors. I would often print all of my images and spread them out across a table – and literally add and discard some until I got the book layout I felt worked. Also getting a second pair of eyes on this is key – let someone who isn’t afraid to say what they like or dislike!
Inspiration: My visual influences change all the time, but a few standout photographers that play a huge part in how I work currently would be Roe Etheridge, who makes photobooks with a vast array of photographic genres inside. Roe's book, Sacrifice Your Body, was huge to my way of seeing and photographing. Also, Lukas Blalock, who shoots 5x4, then uses a digital platform to manipulate his work, creating surreal and quite absurd images is someone not far away from my research notes each time I am scanning for ideas.
Advice and Future Goals: Get as much imagery as you possibly can before you even think about making a book. Start off with far too much, until you finally have a selection of images that ping, and will work so well together on the page, and of course tell some kind of a story! Since I last made a printed book or zine my work has become quite mixed. I have been using old VHS cameras, combined with magazine scans and studio still life's to create bodies of work. I would love to create another printed book – only when I feel my work suits the medium though.