23 mars 2022
Blondie, Bowie, Kate Moss, the Queen of England or Spice Girls… The fashion photographer Rankin captured transgressive and innovative pictures. The founder of Dazed & Confused magazine wishes to share its know-how with creative youth. He will invite 40 emerging artists in his Maryland Studio in London during the exhibition “Visual Noise” early in April.
Could you tell me about the genesis of your commitment with “Visual Noise”?
I had been discussing doing some form of fair or festival with my curator Ellen Stone and she suggested that we do something around graduate students who hadn’t got the opportunity to show during the pandemic. I immediately thought it was a good idea and we began the process of trying to put it together. To be quite honest, I haven’t done any of the heavy lifting, that has been Ellen and her team. However, I can say that I think the work and selection is fantastic. So, I am incredibly excited about doing the event. The idea of giving back and collaborating with younger photographers is always invigorating to me.
“Looking at new photographers and what they’re up to is as important to me as celebrating the talent of the past.”
Visual Noise is the first art fair dedicated solely to the nation’s emerging photography talent. Is it a way to convey your experience for you?
Yes, I guess so. As a photographer I’ve always been very inquisitive and excited about other people’s work. I think I’m a bit of a fanboy around the subject. Looking at new photographers and what they’re up to is as important to me as celebrating the talent of the past. So doing a project like this is always very rewarding as well as trying to be supportive.
The brief was to ‘be creative’ within a 6ft x 6ft space at MARYLAND STUDIO and to ‘show the public work they will not have seen before’. Have you met the challenge?
What a funny question, and I’m not sure how to answer it. I think I always try to meet the challenge and I can certainly say that the photographers we have chosen have definitely done that as well.
Are you impressed or surprised by the diverse range of subjects chosen by some of the 40 artists?
Definitely, both impressed and surprised. It is a wide and varied group, but they are all incredibly talented.
“I was on my own in my spare room taking photographs of dying flowers.”
The next generation of graduate photographers whose final shows were disrupted due to Covid-19. Was your creativity, also, disturbed/ interrupted by the international pandemic? Or was that period also a period of inspiration?
I think everybody was influenced by the pandemic in some way. For me there was a certain panic at the beginning followed by a period of introspection. I was on my own in my spare room taking photographs of dying flowers. I had wanted to photograph flowers for so long, so the pandemic gave me the opportunity to do that and within that period I found it very inspirational to work on my own. Without COVID, I’m not sure it’s something I would’ve got round to for a while. Without hesitation, it’s not something I would have liked to do for much longer. So basically, I did some work I’m very proud of but I’m glad that it is easier to have IRL moments with people.
People are what got me into photography, I’m so inquisitive and love the relationship of collaborating with other human beings. As my mum used to say “means must” and I always just try to adapt to any situation with that in mind.
This event is also the occasion to launch your first physical SWAG store and to share one of a kind archival imagery going back over the last 30 years. Is it a way to break down the barriers between established and emerging arts?
In way, yes. Although that wasn’t my original intention. Hopefully that will be one of the positives that come out of this.
“Teamwork is an integral part of my practice and business.”
This project also emphasizes the importance of teamwork. Is it the path to success for you?
100% yes. Teamwork is an integral part of my practice and business. Without it I think so much less can be achieved. What is that great old saying ‘two heads are better than one’. However, I would go on to say that more varied minds are better than anything you can do on your own.
What advice can you give to young artists?
Make work and be disciplined about making it every day. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t also think about the work you make, but making things every day, as a matter of course, is the best way to learn. Also read lots. Don’t just read about your discipline, but read about everything in psychology, history whatever interest you or gets you excited, make sure that you explore it, as so many thoughts and ideas come from cross fertilizing ideas.
Visual Noise - takes place at Maryland Studio (London, E15 1JB), April 9th - 10th 2022 (10am - 6pm daily). Tickets are available from the Maryland Studio website: https://www.marylandstudio.co.uk/visual-noise