#DiscoverDeptford – The Nature of Cities
A photography exhibition being hosted by Deptford Folk at the No Format gallery will challenge local artists to produce photographs to the theme of the Nature of Cities, inspired by south east London’s biodiversity, parks and trees. We recently caught up with five of the artists who will be showcasing their talents to get their take on all things photography.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your career and how you got into the arts?
Zoë: I studied textiles at Central St. Martins, before working in the fashion industry for 20 years. I now have my own art and textiles practice, as well as holding creative workshops at Kew Gardens, The Garden Museum and the Royal Horticultural Society.
Marianne: I did my BA (Hons) in Sculpture at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, and then worked as a photographer’s assistant before starting to get my own work. I completed my master’s in Photography at the Bergen University of Art in Norway and I now work as a freelance photographer, writer and artist for the English and Scandinavian press.
Daniela: I completed my BA (Hons) and master’s in Fine Art Painting, since then I’ve been a practising artist, participating in and curating exhibitions. I have also been an Art teacher and Head of Department at Teddington School, I feel very lucky to have been able to work with art pretty much every day of my life.
Amy: Art has been a passion of mine since I could hold a pencil! It was very much a personal passion until a few years ago when I started to collaborate with a friend on several different projects. Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to work on a number of campaigns, exhibitions and events.
Ruth: My husband Hilton and I, both work in the fashion industry so Daily Quaggy is just a hobby. We set up the Instagram account to document and celebrate the little patch of the River Quaggy which flows alongside our house in Lewisham.
Q: What is it that you enjoy about photography?
Zoë: I love playing with light and water, the alchemical process of cyanotype photography, also known as blueprinting.
Marianne: I am extremely lucky to work with photography on a daily basis. It’s always possible to extend the medium and take it to new exciting levels. For me photography is a process of documenting and adding beauty to real life.
Daniela: It’s such a liberating and rewarding medium, it allows you more freedom to explore and comment on the changing world around you. It lets you present the world to the viewer in a way that they may not have seen before.
Amy: Photography walks the line between observation and direction or interpretation. An image is only part of a wider scenario, but you can learn a lot about the wider context just from one image. There’s also an immediacy in photography, that’s slightly unique when compared to other art forms.
Ruth: Our stretch of the Quaggy is home to a pleasantly-surprising diverse array of wildlife and we love the challenge of trying to capture that on camera. It’s also wonderful to look back through the photos we’ve taken and see the incremental changes throughout the seasons.
Q: What do your photos at Deptford Folk’s Nature of Cities showcase?
Zoë: I’m exhibiting a range of cyanotype prints of ancient oaks.
Marianne: A self portrait celebrating Autumn, named ‘Apple Warrior’. The skirt I’m wearing in the portrait was made from fallen apples, found in the mini-woodland behind my home in South London.
Daniela: The photos I’m exhibiting focus on the relationship between the ‘built’ and the ‘natural’. As space becomes more precious, our love of green space tussles with the necessities of modern life, the trees in my photographs represent the nature we crave, whilst jostling with buildings.
Amy: Spending time in the natural world is when I’m able to fully breathe and relax, especially living in London. I try and spend a few minutes each day in green space. My pieces in the exhibition reflect that dreamlike, timeless quality of being immersed in the natural world.
Ruth: The River Quaggy in all its magical glory! As well as showing just how life enhancing the UK’s urban rivers can be.
If you’d like to see the range of fantastic photos on show, head down to the No Format Gallery next to Anthology’s Deptford Foundry development on the weekends of the 6 and 13 July from 12pm – 6pm.