"The best advice that I can suggest to a new student is to investigate yourself and understand what you want to communicate. Take advantage of this global moment of pause to research, look for people that speak your same poetic language and that can inspire you." - Jo Fetto.
BA (Hons) Fashion Photography Class of 2020 graduate, Jo Fetto, has released a book detailing their final project 'Be My Nest,' We caught up with Jo to find out more about the story behind the photographs. View the book and follow Jo on social media.
Tell us about yourself. What do you stand for? What do you represent through your practice?
Ciao, my name is Jo and I am 21 years old Naples-born visual artist. I graduated this year in BA course Fashion Photography at LCF. Since I started the course I always approach my camera as a third eye, documenting whatever was going on around me: from my friends, to my homes (both in Italy and in London), the party I was going and the community I was sharing all these moments with. I always felt like the adventures and experiences I was living were extraordinary meaningful and emotional to me, and I always wanted to immortalize them.
I guess my practice is strongly affected by my sensitivity and consequently vulnerability. I want to celebrate the oddity of my daily life and my friends. Something that I believe is accessible to see for everyone, if only we allow ourselves to be sensitive enough. Also in relation to the fashion image, I try to portrait my subjects for the way they are , enhancing their sexuality and queerness. These characteristics sometimes are hidden and repressed because the pressure that heteronormativity exercises on all of us. For this reason my images are loud and colourful, so to subvert the power relationships we got constricted to, freeing our own bodies, genders and beauties.
Tell us about the book – why did you decide to showcase your work in this way? What can the readers expect?
When I was working on Be My Nest, I was constantly thinking on the best way to represent and support this intimate exchange of my experiences and memories. I decided to approach the photobook as medium, personalising it with a velvet hardcover that could enhance the feeling of touch, and consequently the experience. Throughout the book, the reader is kindly invited into my world: from my families to my friends and relationship; from Naples to Delhi, the book is a window to my dimension, exploring my own identity and the queer community I am part of. Thus, the layout is made in a way that my investigation is not linear and chronological, whereas the pages go according to rhythm, colours and association: in some spreads the logic behind the sequences is more clear than others, I invite the reader to catch the assonances/dissonances between the images.
As creatives, we often find it difficult to ensure our work is perceived in the way we hope. How do you explore sometimes sensitive subjects in your field?
I believe that images and visuals can be taken in account with and without the background of the author. Images can be interpreted according to the context and time the audience received it. Thus concerns that as image maker, I cannot expect that my work would be always considered accordingly to my thought behind. For this reason I try to construct my images with symbols and elements that could eventually guide the audience into a narrative. However it is not possible to guarantee that our audience would always get what it is going on, and that’s exciting too.
After graduating through such a turbulent year, what are your plans for life after LCF?
Giiirl, 2020 has been mad! It has been no-stop working year, first for my graduation and then for the making of Be My Nest. My post LCF plan was indeed to publish my first book and debut fully with something that could embrace and explain my body of work, as photographer/visual artist. As I had been working as freelance photographer during my degree course, now I have finally the chance to focus my practice fully on my own needs and challenges. I guess the lockdown months definitely built confidence in relation of where I want to go with my art and who I want to be .
What would your advice be to the new student cohort joining BA Fashion Photography this year?
When I first started Fashion Photography I knew nothing about fashion communication and the fashion matter in general. LCF and UAL faculties (libraries and studios) opened up a world to me and I will be forever grateful about it. The best advice that I can suggest to a new student is to investigate yourself and understand what you want to communicate. Take advantage of this global moment of pause to research, look for people that speak your same poetic language and that can inspire you. Love someone else’s work to the point of being jealous and find your strengths in your photography by looking back to your images. They are always reflection of our interiority.