Photo London may be over for another year, but the densely packed programme provided a wealth of new discoveries.
Whether or not you were able to attend in person, our series of Photo London 2022 highlights provide a whistle-stop tour of the Historical and Contemporary Heroines’ contributions, covering remarkable works from throughout the medium’s history.
However, there was much more besides.
Beneath the bright sunshine of Friday 13th May, a group of our volunteers united for another meet up. As they perused Photo London’s galleries, they uncovered a plethora of photographers who are certainly deserving of the spotlight.
As we look back on everything Photo London had to offer, we bring you their recommendations from the fair.
Paula Vellet, Volunteer Writer, recommends…
Thandiwe is a self-taught photographer born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. Through her personal work she celebrates her African heritage, exploring identity and self-perception using the rich colours, patterns and vibrancy associated with African art and culture.
Alia is a Yemeni-Bosnian-US multi-media artist. Identifying identifying as West Asian, Eastern European, a United States citizen, queer, culturally Muslim yet spiritually independent, her work explores cultural binaries, challenging oppression. Alia confronts viewers through her work, challenging them to consider their own prejudices.
‘Love Thandiwe’s popping African graphic Camo series and Alia’s ‘Blue Blossom’ post-colonial portraits using African textile and pattern. Reminiscent of Ewa Juszkiewicz fantastic ‘concealed’ updated period female portraits – I see a trend here!’
Slovakian photographer Maria Svarbova has developed a distinctive style which departs from traditional portraiture and focuses on experimentation with space, colour and atmosphere. Her carefully composed images are saturated with subtle tension which complicates the conceptual clarity of the smooth surfaces she depicts.
‘Just love her dreamlike Soviet-era ‘Swimming Pools’ – Stalinesque Busby Berkeley.’
Miho Kajioka (b. 1973, Japan, lives in Kyoto) turned to photography after her career as a journalist. The disaster of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Tōhoku reconnected Miho with her photographic art; after finding roses blooming next to a ruined building while reporting in the area, she was inspired to begin creating art which celebrates beauty in daily life.
‘One of the strongest group exhibitions, alongside Gohar Dashti’.
Anastasia Samoylova is an American artist who experiments with observational photography, studio practice and installation work. Her work explores notions of environmentalism, consumerism, and the picturesque.
‘The picture I would like to take home is ‘Berge Miami River’ from Troubled Paradise by Anastasia Samoylova. Gorgeous light and reflections, focusing on rust and decay and beauty in swamps of Florida.’
Fanny Beckman, Volunteer Writer and Bootcamp Alumna, recommends…
Charlotte Abramow (b. Belgium) describes her leitmotiv as ‘to tell the human story in a poetic and metaphorical way.’ Since 2014, her work has mainly addressed the female body and women’s experiences at different stages of life.
Through a succession of distinctively filmic aesthetics, French photographer Lou Escobar’s work oozes Americana. Typically depicting portraits of women in evocative settings such as motels and diners, the sensuality of her images is born from a desire to tell stories which empower their subjects.
Christy Lee Rogers is a visual artist from Kailua, Hawaii. Her vibrant, dreamlike images of bodies submerged in water have been compared to Baroque paintings for their poetic fluidity and complexity.
London-based photographer Chloe Rosser creates unusually sculptural studies of the human body, considering relationships between self and body while challenging conventional notions of beauty.
Gemma Pepper is a British artist and photographer living in Switzerland. Her photographic assemblages, such as ‘It’s complicated’ (2021), combine archival materials with objects such as wool, shells, and pins to explore the aesthetics of nostalgia and re-contextualise photography itself.
Karen Patchell, Glostorama Volunteer, recommends…
Mia Dudek is a Polish artist, working between London, Lisbon and Warsaw. Her work focuses on the relationship between brutalist architecture and the body, investigating notions of displacement and ‘organ habitation’.
‘I really loved Mia Dudek’s encounter of the body and the alienation of the individual within urban fabrics.’
Pushing the boundaries of still-life and self portraiture, Loreal transforms the body into a space for performance. Through photography, installation and sculpture, she creates immersive mise en scène to highlight the relationship between the environment and the subconscious.
I particularly liked the brilliant series ‘Playing the House’.
Chloe Bowman is a London based photographer specialising in beauty, portraiture, still life and fine art.
I particularly liked ‘Avian Knotts’ [a series in which the bodies of deceased birds are bound together with string amid floral arrangements].
Katherine Riley, Content Creator, recommends…
A photographer, photo director, and lecturer, Rachel has long held an interest in the concept of Photo Therapy – in photography’s healing potential. During lockdown, she set up a home studio and captured self-portraits in clown costumes. She later developed these images with alchemical salt printing, rendering each print unique.
‘There is a kind of contemplative performativity to the salty clowns. I feel like they capture the pathos of self-regard, the complex relationship between personal interiority and exteriority.’
Ellie Davis has been working with forests for the past seven years, exploring relationships between the self and the natural world. She uses craft materials such as paint and wool, as well as pools of light, to intervene in the landscape, creating photographs with an enchanted aura.
‘The forest scapes are haunting, saturated in deep shadows. Printed and displayed at a large scale, it feels as though you can wander into them.’
Karine’s highly idiosyncratic, abstract style is born from her interest in how notions of space, architecture, and colour affect perception and emotion. She combines analogue and digital technologies and displaces conventional perspective, resulting in mesmerising, almost extraterrestrial landscapes brimming with luminescence.
‘I love the vibrancy of Karine’s images. It’s like looking through an incredibly powerful kaleidoscope, into an alien world!’