Recent Camberwell College of Arts BA (Hons) Photography graduates Emma Gruner and Alex Burgess have been selected for the FRESHFACED + WILDEYED 2015 exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery from 16 June to 5 July.
Here, Emma and Alex takeover our blog to discuss their latest achievements.
E: Hey Alex, do you want to start off by introducing yourself? Tell me what you have been doing since graduation?
A: Hey there Emma. As you very much know, I graduated with you last year from the BA Photography degree at Camberwell College of Arts. Since graduation, I have been working as part of an artist residency called ‘LIFE BOAT’, as a group with three others, along with working as a photography technician. It’s bonkers to think that it’s been a year already – what have you been doing?
E: I worked briefly for UAL, as a short course coordinator. Since the beginning of the year I have taken over the management of an office / creative space in East London.
A: And of course, I imagine you have been continuing your creative practice from your degree, right? Have you made new work? Have you found it harder to be creative with having to work, etc, and how have you gotten around that?
E: Yes of course I have continued with my practice, I’m very passionate about it. This year has been very full on, settling in the new job, the aftermath of student life. I have mainly been applying for shows and submissions. This lead me to go back to some older works and sort of revisit them, rethink how they could work in different or new contexts. I always think about my practice, so even when I am working at the office it’s always there in the back of my mind.
What about you? You have been ever so active!! I recently saw you at the art fair ART15 in Kensington, how was that?
A: Haha, well it’s been a fairly eventful year so far really – I’ve found it really hard to find the right balance between trying to create new work, and doing ‘actual’ work. The studio space has been great, both for the additional space, and being around other creative artists, and having great support from our mentor. I showed some work at ART15 with UAL:NOW, which was a great opportunity to sell work, along with meeting new and interesting people, with the other UAL artists. I also have had my work displayed at The Open West, a group show in Cheltenham. It’s been surprisingly refreshing to show outside of London. During our degree, we were told about how important it was to make contacts, and it has only started making sense for me recently. I was shocked by how many people I recognized at the private view for FF+WE 2015.
Speaking of FF+WE, how was the process for you? How did you end up making your selection for the show, and what were your considerations?
E: FF+WW came as a surprise. I have been submitting works to a few open calls and I could not really remember what I had sent to the Photographers’ Gallery. I remember having to go through the ‘sent’ folder of my mail box, looking for submission clues! I got to rediscover what series I decided back then to be ‘the one’ and started to think about the install from there. Presenting works in such a renowned gallery space has been a whole new experience for me, having to think of presenting the works to higher standards etc.
Alex did you find it very different to prepare the show at the Photographers’ Gallery against the art fair?
A: Ummm… I suppose that the preparations for the show at The Photographers’ Gallery was quite strange – it felt odd to not have some sort of direct control about how the work was to be displayed. The private view was the first time seeing the work on the wall for me. I’m really please with how the entire exhibition has been curated though – each floor has a definite distinct flow, and I’m extremely happy to have been placed alongside, and with such great photographers/artists.
Lets wrap up: what do you think about FF+WE, and were you happy with your prints/frames? I seem to remember you stressing about your (gorgeous) metal frame…
E: Yeah, I wasn’t sure how to frame the work, where to get them done etc. Luckily I got some precious help from my course director who directed me to the right people. We had to take really fast decision regarding the presentation of the work and that, I have to admit, have been very stimulating.
I hope you guys get to see the show. It’s on until the 5th of July. Find out more by going onto The Photographer’ Gallery website: ffwe15.thephotographersgallery.org.uk