Photo50 is London Art Fair’s annual exhibition of contemporary photography, providing a critical forum for examining some of the most distinctive elements of current photographic practice. Guest curated every year, it highlights a timely theme in current photography and adds a space and context to the photography presented by galleries at the Fair.
OCCUPY THE VOID
Laura Noble presents ten female photographers aged over 50 for the fourteenth edition of Photo50 at London Art Fair 2020.
Samantha Brown, from the series Botany of Silence, 2015 – 2019, Inkjet print © Samantha Brown
The latest edition of Photo50, Occupy the Void, curated by writer, collector and gallerist Laura Noble, explores the vast pool of talented living female photographers aged over 50 and the cultural ‘space’ that they inhabit.
Through the work of ten contemporary female artists working in the UK and internationally, the exhibition interrogates the physical, psychological and ephemeral nature of space and our experience of existing within it, both during our lives and after death.
The exhibition is split into three key themes: how women occupy space; the psychological and personal view of space; and the notion of time and the abstract in space. Viewers will be taken on a personal, psychological and spiritual journey, and will be invited to reflect on their own lives and to challenge their perceived place within society.
Premiering new and never-before-seen works, the exhibition reflects the variety of photographic formats in 2D and 3D, and the diverse traditional and non-traditional materials employed in photography today.
Occupy the Void is an inclusive exhibition, presenting both established names and artists in the early stages of their careers, all of which are female and over the age of 50. Although 85% of women studying photography at university are women, only 15% of the industry is female. Thus Noble provides a platform for a diverse group of artists who are commonly underrepresented in the cultural dialogue, and offers them the opportunity to reclaim their space and the void.
Danielle Peck Many Original Features Sunlight From the series Dreamland, C-type Fine Art print mounted on dibond © Danielle Peck
EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Wendy Aldiss | Samantha Brown | Elaine Duigenan | Miranda Gavin | Elizabeth Heyert | Sandra Jordan | Rosy Martin | Mercedes Parodi | Danielle Peck | Kim Shaw
Elizabeth Heyert, The Sleepers 03, 2003. From the series The Sleepers 03, Selenium toned gelatin silver print © Elizabeth Heyert
Rosy Martin, In Situ, 1939-2014. From the series Immersion © Rosy Martin
Sandra Jordan, Hidden Beauty #26, London, 2016. From the series Hidden Beauty © Sandra Jordan
Wendy Aldiss Focusing on the human condition and our experiences therein, the work by photographer Wendy Aldiss is influenced by the people around her and moments in the key stages in life. Her evocative portraits connect to her sitters, their environment and depict their emotions and experiences. Her work has been widely exhibited in the UK and Europe. In 2018 Aldiss documented her late father’s possessions in their entirety. Clearly a way to keep her father closer for longer, the resulting body of work resonates with all as a reminder of family members no longer alive and provides a visual anthropological study of one person’s life through their possessions. Based in Oxford, England, she was nominated for the RPS 100 Heroines in 2018.
Samantha Brown is a photographer and visual artist born in London in 1968 and currently residing in Ireland. She studied Fine Art Painting in Camberwell University of Arts, London. Moving from London to Ireland saw a new investigation with the landscape using photography and computer aided design to create paintings that were a combination of these mediums. Returning to education to study Multi Disciplinar Design at the University of Ulster, 2008, she explored documentary photography, light installations, video and drawing. At a residency at Digital Arts Studio, Belfast, Samantha compiled a moving image work documenting her daily routine drive home.
Elaine Duigenan is a photographic artist based in London. Her approach is one of prolonged focus on single objects. She has exhibited internationally and has work in collections which include the V&A and The Museum of Fine Art in Houston. The objects Elaine works with are either found or made. Things are never quite what they seem and her work is pared down to find singular beauty. In late 2009 one of her images was flown to space on the Shuttle Atlantis and photographed in The International Space Station.
Miranda Gavin is a visual artist, writer/editor, and educator using photography, text, film, and performance—sometimes under the guise of a persona, The Handbag Projectionist. These bodies of work engage with a variety of approaches that embrace experimentation to explore identity, gender relations and power dynamics, and the way meaning is constructed, conveyed and interpreted. Some are situated in domestic contexts in which there is a focus on themes of love, abuse and betrayal. The dissemination of the work, including the spaces in which it is shown, is as integral to her artistic process as its subject. She has exhibited in solo and group shows in Europe; given readings at spoken word events; and is co-founder and facilitator for Tri-Pod, a creative initiative that offers facilitated, peer mentoring to artists creating personal photographic and lens-based projects.
Elizabeth Heyert is an American photographer known for her experimental portrait projects. Formerly a world-renowned architectural photographer, Heyert established her reputation in the art world with her groundbreaking trilogy THE SLEEPERS, THE TRAVELERS, and THE NARCISSISTS. Heyert’s photographs are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and numerous private collections. Heyert graduated from the Royal College of Art, London. A native New Yorker, she lives in Greenwich Village, and has a studio in the Chelsea art district.
Sandra Jordan is an award-winning fine art photographer who creates minimalist photographic meditations that offer the viewer a sensory escape from our hectic lifestyles. She spent nearly 20 years working alongside some of the best cinematographers in the world as a production manager in the film industry. Jordan has led photography workshops in both the UK and Morocco and worked as an Expedition Photographer sailing around the archipelago of Svalbard, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. She has also published two books Adfectus: An Exploration of Life and How We Fit Into the World and U N I T which shows work from her Hidden Beauty series. She is currently working on her next book.
Danielle Peck is a photographer and documentary film director/producer. This year she has shown a series of work in Seaside: Photographed, a major exhibition for Turner Contemporary in Margate, which will go on tour around England in 2020. She also published a book in conjunction with the exhibition. Dreamland juxtaposes contemporary imagery of Margate alongside text from promotional brochures dating back to 1880 in an exploration of the town’s struggle to stay relevant as a travel destination and shed the pull of nostalgia. Danielle is a highly respected film-maker, having produced numerous internationally award-winning documentaries. Her current production is a deep dive into popular music of the early 70s.
Mercedes Parodi is a British photographic artist based in London and in Aix En Provence, France, where she studied photography at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art from 2010 to 2013. Parodi’s approach to creation is largely immersive, experimental and governed by the senses. The interactive relationship between the artist and her work in Versailles is a complex one. She explores, from a psychological and existential perspective, themes relating to our perception of reality, multi-dimensional forces, the make-up of human personas, mindset, and the nature of being. To date, Mercedes Parodi has had two solo exhibitions in France and has received numerous commendations in major international photography competitions.
Rosy Martin is a London based artist-photographer, psychological-therapist, workshop leader, lecturer and writer. Her work explores and interrogates the relationships between photography, memory. identities and unconscious processes. From 1983, together with Jo Spence, she pioneered Phototherapy in UK and they originated Re-enactment Phototherapy. She has published extensively in books and journals on photography, cultural studies and Phototherapy/Art Therapy since 1985 to 2019.She has exhibited Internationally since 1986.
Kim Shaw is an American photographer who lives and works in London. She works with analogue processes, capturing on film with toy cameras and pinhole boxes as well as with traditional film cameras. She has been making and exhibiting work for over twenty years. Her work is rooted in the landscape, which she often uses to explore ideas around maternal inheritance. She has been included in numerous group shows in the UK and in the US, and several of her images are held in the permanent collection of The Kresge Art Museum at the University of Michigan. Her latest project, “The Chaos Next Door” was featured in issue 31 of Uncertain States, published in August, 2019. Kim is the Director of Photofusion in London.
Photo50 is supported by Photography Focus Day taking place on Friday 24th of January with a dedicated programme of talks and tours led by practitioners and experts.
Photo50 at London Ar Fair is kindly supported by Genesis Imaging.
Laura Noble is the Director of L A Noble Gallery (LANG) in London. She is also a curator and author of The Art Of Collecting Photography. She is a nominator for the global Prix Pictet Prize and also an Ambassador for the Royal Photographic Society’s 100 Heroines project and Docking Station in Amsterdam as well as being a judge on many photographic competitions and residency programmes. Her commitment to photography is paramount.
Laura Noble, photographed by ©Chloe Rosser
Who’s looking at the family, now? was our 2019 exhibition curated by Tim Clark that engaged with some fundamental questions about family life, its dynamics and complexity, represented by a group of contemporary photographers and artists working in the UK and internationally.