Thursday, 5 September 2013

Chloe Newman

London, UK


The majority of your work consists of conceptual sets. What do you enjoy about working conceptually?

I actually just prefer to shoot images that come into my head. And then, once I've shot them and when I see the pictures together, they start to build the concept themselves. I'm very focused on the aesthetic of the image, so sometimes I find that if I over-think the concept I feel restricted in what I can photograph. I like to take a more subconscious approach to taking my photographs.

Could you explain further what is behind your projects "Something wrong", "Visual Conflicts" and "Black Tropicana"?

Something Wrong originally started with me looking at formalism and gradually entered the realms of the uncanny. With Visual Conflicts I was intrigued by surrealism within advertisements, and the tension between the disturbing and humorous elements within that. Black Tropicana was the most recent, I collaborated on the series with my fellow photographer Rebecca Scheinberg, we wanted to create almost another world, one that presents the irreal facade, critiquing a paradise devoid of the essence that makes it ideal. But I like all of my photographs to be quite open to interpretation; I find it a lot more interesting when people tell me what they think the work is about just from what they personally see in it, without my influence. Once my tutor told me she could see references to a vagina in the hamburger shot in Visual Conflicts which was ... different to hear!

Did your photography studies at the university change your work? If yes, how so?

I think my past two years studying at LCC has definitely had a good impact on my work. Before LCC I mainly shot black and white film and was still figuring out what I wanted to photograph, now I am really interested in colour and digital and have found more of my own niche photographically. I'd say the people have been a great influence, my class is pretty diverse in the range of work and they have really opened my eyes to different photographers that have helped shaped my work.

What are the things you gained and what are the things you lost along the way?

I gained a partner in crime! Rebecca, the photographer I collaborated with for Black Tropicana, and I have formed a creative duo called 'Newshine'. Black Tropicana is our first set of images but we are shooting soon to create more 'chapters' so keep an eye out for those! I think I've just gained confidence in shooting what I want to shoot, and taking criticism on board, but not letting it completely rule my practice. I wouldn't say I've lost anything, perhaps not shooting black and white as frequently, but I'm sure it will rear its head sometime in the future again, once my love affair with colour dies down...

What do you want to do after your studies?

I'd like to continue collaborating with ‘Newshine’ and create more weird and wacky images, perhaps look into cinematography further as I love films.

Is there an artist, young or old, that you admire?

Where do I start!? David Lynch is an all-time favourite of mine, I just find his use of ambiguity and mystery in his films very thought provoking and inspiring. I love Viviane Sassen's work, she has a really great distinctive style, I visited her retrospective in Amsterdam earlier this year and left so inspired by how the show was displayed. I suppose Quentin Tarantino and Nicolas Winding Refn currently are a strong influence for me with the colour palettes in the films Kill Bill and Only God Forgives.

Which galleries in London do you enjoy visiting yourself?

The Michael Hoppen Gallery always shows amazing visual photographers like Prager and Bourdin and I also like visiting the ICA, they have great talks and shows.

What are you working on this autumn/winter?

I'm currently shooting some new images with Rebecca for ‘Newshine’ that will be online soon, we will also be putting on an exhibition with four other photographers called A Tribute Act at Trinity Buoy Wharf from the 3rd -4th October showing the Black Tropicana images in an installation format which should be interesting! Then I'll start to work on my final year piece and dissertation, so it's going to be busy but I'm looking forward to it!

And where do you see yourself in, say, 5 years?

I'd like to be still taking photographs, but simultaneously trying my hand at cinematography, I'd also like to travel to a few different countries, too, like Sweden, Germany, or really exotic neon filled places for shooting images.

Image No. 4 belongs to the Project "Black Tropicana", a collaboration between Chloe Newman and Rebecca Scheinberg.

If you are in London mid-October, take a look at the exhibition ‘A Tribute Act’ where Chloe’s work will be exhibited, too.

A Tribute Act 
Exhibition: 3rd - 4th Oct 2013
Private View: 3rd 18:00-22:30
Location: Trinitiy Buoy Wharf, 64 Orchard Pl, London E14 0JY

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