Sunday, 22 July 2012

Campbell Sibthorpe

Bristol, UK

You're originally from Australia. How was it when you first moved to England?

Yes - I was born in Australia, Queensland. But have been living in England for the last 15 years. Moving was good.

Did the move change your interest or vision as a photographer?

Unfortunately I was too young for the move to make a real impact on me, though at the moment it’s my friends, who push my vision. I live in a small village and though it is only a quick train ride to the next town I find it easier to concentrate on how my friends and I find things to do in a reasonably quiet place.

What do you search for most of the times when you go out to shoot photographs?

Normally I just search for something that makes me look twice. But trying to be a snapshot photographer and still use this method of observation doesn’t really work out a lot of the time. If I have missed taking the moment, I will usually note down what I have seen and at some point try and subtly re-create that moment with my friends or family.

What do you like most about photographing your friends?

When I take pictures of my friends, I feel at ease. I will usually take pictures of the friend who looks the most natural in that moment. Though a lot of the time I might tell them what kind of expression or glance I’m looking for. So many people are used to having cameras pushed in their faces, too. That means that often any notion of surprise or spontaneity from having your picture taken is gone and therefore sadly needs to be created in a different way.

Are you as comfortable in photographing people on the streets?

I don't think I have any problems taking pictures of "People on the streets", I just find taking pictures of my friends more personal and valuable to me.

Which artists have inspired you lately?

Well I just bought Jonnie Craig and Tim Barber’s new book, so that’s a month worth of inspiration I guess. I can be a bit of a garbage bin a lot of the time ... I like to absorb other peoples’ work and always check out what’s fresh on the scene.

Are you interested in other forms of visual art as well?
Yes – My house is filled with so much art and sculpture I feel like I have a balanced interest in all kind of art forms.

What led you to found BAD BANANAS?
I founded BAD BANANAS on my couch, I had been thinking that it would be great to start something that connected local photographers and created a way for them to showcase their work to each other.
In my head it was well though out, but when the blog got up and running and the initial hype had long gone, there were some obvious flaws … there were only four photographers in my village. Which maybe is an exaggeration, but there didn’t seem to be as many as I thought. Knowing that the submission count would vary in size, I set up an "inspiration page" so that people didn’t necessarily have to submit all the time, they could come and look at some work from top or upcoming photographers that might give them some inspiration for their own work.

 BAD BANANAS is still going, bit quiet sometimes, but still pressing on. We are holding a small exhibition at my house soon which should be fun. I’m just looking forward to gathering all the photographers and looking at big prints together.

What do you enjoy most about curating yourself?

I'm not sure I would call my self a curator, as I think I am still developing as a photographer. I just enjoy receiving submissions and thinking “wow, that’s a great picture, everyone needs to see that.”

Will you be traveling this year? If so, whereto?

Yes - Last summer I went back home to Australia, it was good to go somewhere new for a change and take photos. I am looking forward to getting out of the village and going to a few places this summer, as well as traveling to Poland in September to see an exhibition that I am a part of.

Other than that ... I will see where the wind takes me, I guess.

Where do you see yourself in, say, five years?

Hopefully in five years I will still be taking photos, be better than I am now, going new places, taking part in exhibitions, living ultimately.

Quiet but fresh mind. Take a look at his work!

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