University: Arts University Bournemouth
Artist Statement: Nineteen Thousand Beds is based on notions of absence and is the documentation of specific architectural spaces, leisure complexes. These complexes represent a form of heterotopia; occupied temporarily, they are purpose-designed and built for a specific activity. My approach to the work references conventional forms of architectural photography, these often devoid of human presence within the depicted spaces. Dormant, the individual areas documented in my work remain in a form of stasis; suspended in time and waiting in expectation of their future occupants. This creates an opportunity for the audience to consider for themselves, the missing sounds and actions suggested by the vacant nature of the images.
What are some standout moments from your time at university? I loved living with great people and was so lucky to of meet so many lovely friends that made university a great experience. Living by the sea was lovely, I spent a lot of time there. There are too many funny memories that have happened but wish I was still living with the girls and have close mates living near by.
Which photographic genre do you consider your work to fall into, and what themes do you find yourself exploring? I'm really interested in architecture so would look at that first. Following on from that I would look into the idea of emptiness – I love the idea that the interior of a space has a purpose and function when it's inhabited, but when no one is there it just adds to the emptiness.
Tell us about yourself and your practise. I shoot on a Mamiya RB67, it's so lovely to work with and gives a great finish – don’t get me wrong if the film got exposed due to light leek I would swear never to use it again.
Who or what visually and theoretically inspires your work? I read so much for this topic! If I listed them we would be here all day.
I find it so much easier to contact relevant photographers that I have researched directly and ask them about their work and what they read. Almost all of them got back to me with great suggestions or their own personal pdf copies!
Can you talk us through your series Nineteen Thousand Beds? I'm really keen on the idea of heterotypic spaces, the idea of waiting, mixed with the thought of something built for human consumption, yet when not being used, it's just a space left for nothing.
Butlins was built to contain all humans needs, (sleep, eat, play) which made it a perfect space to photograph this idea. I gained access to Butlins during their quite period so I only saw the odd builders. The space had this odd tension as if it was waiting for life so I was happy that I didn’t have to try an force this fake atmosphere when photographing.
When and where did you make this work? I started this work in 3rd year for about 7 months.
All the images are taken in Butlins, Bognor. They gave me access to all the areas over the following weeks, it was amazing how supportive they were. I went nearly every week for the day - stressful but it was worth it. Before the set location Butlins in Mindhead let me photograph there too.
Were there any stand out photographers or writers who influenced you whilst making this work?
Anna fox – she was the one who photographed Butlins with people.
Jason Oddy – I just love his work and his style.
Lee Mandy Jandrell – her concepts of Eidyllion, I found really interesting. There are so many great photographs that have been a huge help.
What do you hope to achieve this year? This year I was meant to be going traveling with one of my best friends at university, Troll*. But unfortunately I got a fantastic job opportunity that I couldn’t turn down. However I shall go on my holiday to see her. Win win.
Are you working on anything at the moment that you’d like to tell us about? Sadly I'm not due to not being able to find the time, but I'm actually keen on trying to start a new project... I did joke about taking early retirement from photography.