Rhianne Clarke

University: University of Westminster

Graduation: 2017

Genre: Landscape, Urban Landscape

Websitewww.rhianneclarke.com

Artist Statement: These photographs were all made within a short distance of each other in and around The Royal Borough of Greenwich.

My hometown is often thought of as a beautiful place, an anomaly. It is also a place that now exists in a state of impermanence, both fragile and fleeting.

From the series There's Room Enough for Both of Us

From the series There's Room Enough for Both of Us

Where did you attend university and what year did you graduate? I attended the University of Westminster studying BA Photographic Arts. I will graduate in the summer of 2017.  

What are some standout moments from your time at university? There’s been many great moments during my time at university, but one that stands out was at the beginning of my third year. My class had an ‘away day’ in which we were taken on a tour of different galleries where we were given talks by professionals, and even invited into the homes of some established artist’s. As any creative will know, to make a living from your practice is a difficult thing. All of the speakers were generous with their advice and very open and honest, the whole day was a real treat! Hearing their journey’s in the industry was really something, I remember feeling very touched and inspired afterwards. 

From the series There's Room Enough for Both of Us

From the series There's Room Enough for Both of Us

Which photographic genre do you consider your work to fall into? Landscape/Urban Landscape 

What themes do you find yourself exploring? Central to my work lies a notion of self, emanating from a personal and direct experience in the world. 

What's one vital thing you learnt at university that you think will always stick with you? One of my lecturer’s shared with me a publication called Process: A Tomato Project, a wonderful book showcasing the working ideas, experiments and mistakes made between a collective of graphic-design artists. This book alone taught me the importance of the artistic process and I feel like this is one of the most valuable lessons one of my teachers has given me. After reading this book, acknowledgement of my process became paramount to my work, I now observe and recording my thoughts and feelings to reflect on. ‘The process keeps us alive’. 

From the series There's Room Enough for Both of Us

From the series There's Room Enough for Both of Us

How did this series come to the surface? What initially inspired you? I’ve lived in Greenwich my whole life, a borough that has now become a very disposable landscape. Many of the monuments to my childhood memories have been erased, many of the places seen in the book no longer exist. The photographs here serve as a testimony to how fast the area is developing. Coming from a working-class background, the changes through development and gentrification have made it difficult for me and my family to continue to feel at home. In this sense, the project is motivated by my personal experiences of growing up and living in the borough.

From the series There's Room Enough for Both of Us

From the series There's Room Enough for Both of Us

Why did you decide to make this series into a book? It was important for me to collate the photographs in a state of permanence. The context of the book allows this work to exist for a long period of time, meaning the body of work will stand’s as evidence of the area even after its regeneration. Also, I chose to present the work in a photobook conducive to the context’s ability to facilitate a coherent viewing experience. The physical binding of photographs contains the work as one single entity. In this sense, I have used the formation of the book to reinforce the different scenes in the area existing together as one single landscape. Above all, I really love photobooks and always try to end my projects in a book, even if it isn't the initial intended context. 

From the series There's Room Enough for Both of Us

From the series There's Room Enough for Both of Us

What equipment did you use to make this series? Was it important to your way of working? I used a Digital Hasselblad to make this series of work. As an artist, I’m not committed to using any type of medium. I work using both digital and analogue processes however, I’m quite loyal to working in medium format. Conceptually my choice of equipment doesn't inform this project. There’s Room Enough for Both of Us was made during a series of walks over a year’s period in my local neighbourhood. Shooting digitally allowed me more flexibility within the constraints of my timeframe and budget.

The series accommodates a lot of images. Was this a conscious decision of yours? Yes definitely. The series illustrates an interconnecting journey through Greenwich. The images fluctuate between far away landscape perspectives and mundane objects shot from a closer perspective. The purpose of this constant change in subject matter is to reflect the way in which many conflicting elements of the city co-exist. It was important for me to include many images to show my journey through the borough, a divergent and complicated venture as a result of urban gentrification.

From the series There's Room Enough for Both of Us

From the series There's Room Enough for Both of Us

Have you exhibited There's Room Enough for Both of Us? The book has only just been finished and hasn’t been exhibited yet, however it will be exhibited for the first time as part of Free Range’s photography week one graduate show on June 22nd 2017.

Yes, I recently exhibited the project at Free Range during Photography Week One. The exhibition showcases a season of graduate art in the heart of London. 

How did your degree show turn out? What are your thoughts on exhibiting at Free Range? Exhibiting at Free Range was great fun. As a class, we built everything from scratch, putting together the show took several months and was very hands on so it was a really special moment seeing all of our work come together at the private view. 

Installation shot of There's Room Enough for Both of Us at Free Range 2017

Installation shot of There's Room Enough for Both of Us at Free Range 2017

My own formation of images and sequence were deeply considered. Alongside my photobook, I showcased a wall installation of 10 meticulously selected photographs. The sequence was brought together using 2 very large vinyl prints with overlapping smaller framed prints. The overlapping photographs points toward the different structural elements of the city existing together as one single conflicted landscape. Overall I had a great time at Free Range, It was very busy which was great, I met a lot of like minded people from other universities and I really enjoyed having conversations with visitors about my work. 

From the series There's Room Enough for Both of Us

From the series There's Room Enough for Both of Us

What are your future plans? Do you see this series taking you anywhere new? As i’ve only just graduated, I’m currently taking one step at a time. There’s Room Enough for Both of Us is an ongoing project. The recent gentrification of Greenwich is rapid and unforgiving so its become really important for me to photograph the area, the project is motivated by my personal experiences of growing up and living in the borough. I’m really looking forward to progressing the project further and hopefully making a second edition of the book. Im also currently working on expanding a separate body of work, a discovered archive of my late Fathers photographic work which has been recently exhibited and is really exciting!