University: Falmouth University
What and where did you study? What encouraged you to study on this course? I studied BA (hons) Photography at Falmouth University. I loved that the course was open to all styles and approaches which meant I was free to experiment and explore the medium.
Can you give us an overview of your shortlisted series of work? What is it called and what is it about? The series is called Medication and comes from a wider project exploring pain. I suffer from a mild chronic pain condition and have always struggled to express it. Medication explores issues around overprescription and abuse of pain medication and how my own use of analgesic drugs became habitual.
What are some common themes or subjects that run through your work? What equipment did you use to make your series? For me, the sciences have always been a great source of intrigue and inspiration. Art and science are often described as polar opposites but I find them to be a great double act where each can inform the other. The work has many stages in its creation so the equipment list is extensive, simply put it is a combination of medium format film and scanning.
Who or what influences and motivates you the most when making new work? I like to try and give voice to issues or ideas I feel are under appreciated or underreported. For example, there is a massive lack of understanding and appreciation for chronic pain conditions, they are incredibly hard to communicate and treat yet we don't really hear much about them.
How did you feel about being shortlisted for the South West Graduate Photography Prize? Obviously it's flattering to be shortlisted and it's been a great opportunity to show the work more widely.
What exposure have you gained as a result of being shortlisted? How do you think it will benefit your future as a photographer? Other than the exhibitions themselves I've had a few offers from people wanting to show or feature my work, I've also had a great deal of interest around how exactly the images were made. Any kind of validation and recognition for a project can only be a good thing.
Has being shortlisted taught you anything vital? Can you give any advice to other or future graduates? The main thing is just show people your work, if you believe in it then the chances are someone else will too. Also, you're not going to win or be shortlisted for an award if you don't enter it so be persistent and don't take rejection personally.
Tell us about any plans you have for your work in the future. I'm working a few personal projects right now some related to this work and others that are totally different, though I really enjoyed university I'm loving the freedom of doing things my own way.
Follow this link to Samuel's website where you can find out more about Medication.