The Messy Truth - Conversations on Photography

Share

Audrey Blue - On Liberation

Season 1, Ep. 57

Gem Fletcher speaks to artist Audrey Blue (nee Gillespie) in the final episode of a three-part series in partnership with Seen Fifteen Gallery. The Troubles Generation - an ongoing curatorial project by Vivienne Gamble invites artists who grew up in Northern Ireland during The Troubles to shed new light on the impact of being brought up in an era of intense sectarian violence.


Audrey Blue is a fine artist from Derry, Northern Ireland. Currently based in Belfast, her media includes analogue photography, painting and printmaking. Blue’s themes explore queerness, mortality and conflict with youth and anxiety. This Hurts has been exhibited in Ireland at Photo Ireland Photography Festival (2022), Belfast Exposed Photography Gallery “Street View” (2022) and within the major group exhibition, Saturation, at Crawford Art Gallery, Cork. Audrey Blue is a selected artist for New Irish Works (Photo Ireland) and the European photography platform, FUTURES. 


Looking ahead to a significant future moment in UK and Irish history with the 25th anniversary of The Good Friday Agreement in 2023, The Troubles Generation project seeks to examine the legacy of The Troubles from the viewpoint of artists born into its divided society and with lived experience of growing up with conflict as the backdrop to their lives. Taking a phased approach to developing photographic projects and new writing, the ultimate ambition is to create a large-scale touring exhibition in 2023. The project's first phase at Seen Fifteen has been generously supported by the Genesis Kickstart Fund, enabling three solo exhibitions with Martin Seeds, Gareth McConnell and Audrey Blue. 


Seen Fifteen is an independent emerging gallery and project space in Peckham, South East London. Seen Fifteen’s artistic programme champions contemporary photography with a focus on emerging, diverse and experimental artists who expand the boundaries of the medium. Founded in 2015 by curator Vivienne Gamble, the gallery has hosted a number of widely acclaimed first UK solo shows for breakthrough photographic artists such as Laura El-Tantawy, Jan McCullough, Maya Rochat and Martin Seeds. 


Follow Audrey @artdrey__ Seen Fifteen @seenfifteen & Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode, PLEASE leave us your feedback in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth. We will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com

More Episodes

Monday, May 22, 2023

Jacqueline Bates - On Photo Direction

Season 1, Ep. 61
Throughout her career, Photo Director Jacqueline Bates has harnessed the power of photography to give visual journalism new dimension. During our conversation, we talk about her new role at the New York Times Opinion section in which she’s publishing up to 90 stories a week. We discuss the blurring of art and editorial, how she works with emerging talent and we visit some of her most fascinating commissions. As you will hear throughout the episode, Jackie is deeply committed to her responsibility as a photo director, always in service of the story, while taking creative risks and expanding the notion of who can work editorially in meaningful ways. Prior to the NYT Opinion Section, Jacqueline was the founding photography director of The California Sunday Magazine, the Pulitzer Prize-winning print magazine, and “Pop-Up Magazine,” the acclaimed live-magazine show. Under her direction, California Sunday won the National Magazine Award for photography in 2016 and 2017, the first title in 25 years to win in consecutive years. Previously, she was the senior photo editor of W Magazine and worked in the photo departments of ELLE, Interview and Wired. She holds an MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts, and teaches at Parsons School of Design.  Follow Jackie @jackiecbates & Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode, PLEASE leave us your feedback in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth. We will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com
Monday, May 8, 2023

Rhiannon Adam - On Abundance

Season 1, Ep. 60
In this episode, Gem Fletcher speaks to photographer and artist Rhiannon Adam. Her work is heavily influenced by her nomadic childhood spent at sea, sailing around the world with her parents. Little photographic evidence of this period in her life exists, igniting an interest in the influence of photography on recall, the notion of the photograph as a physical object, and the image as an intersection between fact and fiction – themes that continue throughout her work. In 2015, supported by the BBC/Royal Geographical Society, Adam travelled to the remote island community of Pitcairn in the South Pacific. Pitcairn measures just two miles by one mile and is home to just 42 British subjects, descendants from the Mutiny on the Bounty. A decade ago, the island’s romantic image was tarnished by a string of high profile sexual abuse trials. As a result, islanders are particularly reticent about accepting outsiders. With trip duration dictated by the quarterly supply vessel, there would be no way off for three arduous months. Adam’s project is the first in-depth photographic project to take place on the island, and made its debut at Francesca Maffeo Gallery in Spring 2018. The project won the Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography in 2020. The resulting book, Big Fence / Pitcairn Island (Blow Up Press), was formally released in April 2022 on the anniversary of the Bounty Mutiny and appeared in the final 10 titles selected for the Photography Book Award at the 2022 Kraszna Krausz Foundation book awards. In the show, we have a roving conversation about how projects unravel, creative intentions, working in discomfort, and the challenges of working within a broken system, VIA conversations about bookmaking, multifaceted careers, beauty, and going to space - which Rhiannon actually is doing with Space X and Dear Moon. But at the heart of it are some interesting ideas about what photography is and can do. You can find our more about Dear Moon and Rhiannons trip to space here.Follow Rhiannon @rhiannon_adam & Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode, PLEASE leave us your feedback in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth. We will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com
Saturday, December 24, 2022

Harley Weir - On Process

Season 1, Ep. 58
In this episode, Gem Fletcher speaks to London-based photographer Harley Weir. In this episode we discuss how her approach to image making is one rooted in alchemy - creating space for the unexpected. She fuses materials together that challenge each other, evoking an immediate and arresting world, familiar to us and filled with emotion, yet suggestive of a darker and more compulsive set of psychic and material forces. Beyond her limitless talent, what's captivating about Harley is her honesty - about her process, the industry and what her practice enables her to do. Harley is a London based widely-acclaimed fashion photographer whose work has been commissioned by brands like Balenciaga, Gucci, Isabel Marant, Marc Jacobs. She has published five books to date and exhibited in a number of institutions including Foam Amsterdam and MEP and Hannah Barry Gallery. What unites this work is a highly-attuned sense of colour and composition that disrupts notions of gaze, desire, sexuality and beauty while also speaking to a range of political and social issues including plastic waste, the rights of refugees and migrants, marine conservation. Her practice is nor interested in being one thing, instead it explores multiple avenues at any one time. Follow Harley @harleyweir & Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode, PLEASE leave us your feedback in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth. We will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com
Sunday, December 4, 2022

Gareth McConnell - On Survival

Season 1, Ep. 56
Gem Fletcher speaks to photographer Gareth McConnell in the second episode of a three-part series in partnership with Seen Fifteen Gallery. The Troubles Generation - an ongoing curatorial project by Vivienne Gamble invites artists who grew up in Northern Ireland during The Troubles to shed new light on the impact of being brought up in an era of intense sectarian violence. Gareth McConnell is a London-based photographer with diverse interests and many styles of approach. His work as a fine artist has been given recognition in monographs, cover features, and articles including from Steidl/Photoworks, Frieze, and Aperture. His fine art prints are widely collected. In the past, he has worked as a documentary photographer for the New York Times, and served high-end fashion – Vogue Homme, Pop, and AnOther, and clients like Dior, Gucci and Chloe. He has worked in the music industry with artists including Sia, Disclosure and Ivan Smagghe. McConnell has actively instigated non-commercial projects with other artists and writers, publishing them under his imprint Sorika, and has co-curated a show at London’s ICA, and talk events at the ICA and Tate Modern. McConnell has shown at many galleries and fairs, including Carl Freedman Gallery, Frieze Art Fair, Kasmin Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Photographers’ Gallery. He is represented in significant private and public collections. He increasingly values a direct relationship with audiences through his websites and social media platforms. Looking ahead to a significant future moment in UK and Irish history with the 25th anniversary of The Good Friday Agreement in 2023, The Troubles Generation project seeks to examine the legacy of The Troubles from the viewpoint of artists born into its divided society and with lived experience of growing up with conflict as the backdrop to their lives. Taking a phased approach to developing photographic projects and new writing, the ultimate ambition is to create a large-scale touring exhibition in 2023. The project's first phase at Seen Fifteen has been generously supported by the Genesis Kickstart Fund, enabling three solo exhibitions with Martin Seeds, Gareth McConnell and Audrey Blue. Seen Fifteen is an independent emerging gallery and project space in Peckham, South East London. Seen Fifteen’s artistic programme champions contemporary photography with a focus on emerging, diverse and experimental artists who expand the boundaries of the medium. Founded in 2015 by curator Vivienne Gamble, the gallery has hosted a number of widely acclaimed first UK solo shows for breakthrough photographic artists such as Laura El-Tantawy, Jan McCullough, Maya Rochat and Martin Seeds. Follow Gareth @garethwmcconnell Seen Fifteen @seenfifteen & Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode, PLEASE leave us your feedback in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth. We will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com 
Sunday, December 4, 2022

Martin Seeds - On Conflict

Season 1, Ep. 55
In this episode, Gem Fletcher speaks to photographer and educator Martin Seeds as part of a three-part series in partnership with Seen Fifteen Gallery. The Troubles Generation - an ongoing curatorial project by Vivienne Gamble invites artists who grew up in Northern Ireland during The Troubles to shed new light on the impact of being brought up in an era of intense sectarian violence. Originally from Belfast, Martin Seed’s practice is shaped by his relationship with his Northern Irish homeland. Personal narratives, the relationship to place, politics, conflict, sameness and difference, diaspora and myth are underlying themes that recur and interconnect in his work. He experiments with combinations of analogue and digital imaging technologies as a way to draw attention to the conflicting experiences of identity, history and culture. Martin Seeds was nominated for the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize 2020 for his solo exhibition, Violence Religion Injustice Death, at Seen Fifteen in 2019.Looking ahead to a significant future moment in UK and Irish history with the 25th anniversary of The Good Friday Agreement in 2023, The Troubles Generation project seeks to examine the legacy of The Troubles from the viewpoint of artists born into its divided society and with lived experience of growing up with conflict as the backdrop to their lives. Taking a phased approach to developing photographic projects and new writing, the ultimate ambition is to create a large-scale touring exhibition in 2023. The project's first phase at Seen Fifteen has been generously supported by the Genesis Kickstart Fund, enabling three solo exhibitions with Martin Seeds, Gareth McConnell and Audrey Blue. Seen Fifteen is an independent emerging gallery and project space in Peckham, South East London. Seen Fifteen’s artistic programme champions contemporary photography with a focus on emerging, diverse and experimental artists who expand the boundaries of the medium. Founded in 2015 by curator Vivienne Gamble, the gallery has hosted a number of widely acclaimed first UK solo shows for breakthrough photographic artists such as Laura El-Tantawy, Jan McCullough, Maya Rochat and Martin Seeds. Follow Martin @martinseeds Seen Fifteen @seenfifteen & Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode, PLEASE leave us your feedback in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth. We will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com 
Thursday, October 6, 2022

Zora J Murff - On Liberation

Season 1, Ep. 53
In this episode, Gem Fletcher chats with artist and educator Zora J. Murff. They deep dive into Zora’s latest book True Colors (or, Affirmations in a Crisis), a manual for coming to terms with the historical and contemporary realities of America’s divisive structures of privilege and caste. Since leaving social work to pursue photography over a decade ago, Zora’s work has consistently grappled with the complicit entanglement of the medium in the histories of spectacle, commodification, and race, often contextualizing his own photographs with found and appropriated images and commissioned texts. True Colors continues that work, expanding to address the act of remembering and the politics of self, which Murff identifies as “the duality of Black patriotism and the challenges of finding belonging in places not made for me—of creating an affirmation in a moment of crisis as I learn to remake myself in my own image.” The book open’s up discussion about education, collaboration, working with institutions, audience and liberation.  Zora J Murff is an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Arkansas. He received his MFA from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and holds a BS in Psychology from Iowa State University. Merging his educational experiences, Murff uses his practice to highlight intersections between various social systems and art. He has published books with Aint-Bad Editions and Kris Graves Projects. His monograph, At No Point In Between (Dais Books), was selected as the winner of the Independently Published category of the Lucie Foundation Photo Book Awards. In 2020 Murff was announced as the winner of the inaugural Next Step prize, awarded by Aperture and Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York. His work was presented at the 2021 Rencontres d’Arles, France, as part of the Louis Roederer Discovery Award.Follow Zora’s work here - Follow Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode, PLEASE leave us your feedback and maybe five stars if we're worthy in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth. We will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com