Photography News Issue 36

Photography News | Issue 36 | absolutephoto.com

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Exhibition

Parallel Worlds Photographers Jerry Webb and Jo Teasdale have joined forces to exhibit their work at My Brighton hotel, we find out more

Interview by Jemma Dodd

Jo previously worked as an art and design technology teacher, while Jerry’s background lies in design and publishing. The two gradually gained an interest in photography; Jo through recording school projects and Jerry through taking portraits for the magazines they worked for. In 2007 Jerry joined the Brighton and Hove Camera Club and this is where the duo had their first meeting and honed their photography skills. How would you describe your style of photography? JT: My work follows two distinct paths: translating personal concepts into the language of photography and celebrating the realness of life through documentary and street photography. I enjoy the immediacy and quirky unexpected elements of street life whilst my conceptual work is an artistic form of self-expression, often poignant and edgy, often unveiling elements of our human nature. These two paths often overlap, providing the audience with images that have many layers and interpretations. My photographs provide a strong narrative and can provoke an emotional response from the viewer. The images I produce are often individual statements of time, but recently the use of double exposures has added another dimension to my narratives. My aim is to engage the audience to participate in the stories that unfold around me. JW: Unconventional, monochrome, edgy, close and often uncomfortable. I love the wide-angle lens, I use it virtually exclusively. I like its distortion, natural drama and the dreamy feel it creates. Candid photography from close proximity is my favourite, it creates an adrenaline which I enjoy. Even engaging with people you can get great natural images, not strictly candid perhaps, but you can still produce informal or uncontrived images. I am not one for photographic rules and I get bored with their endless regurgitation. I prefer images that question, exaggerate and create tension. Beautiful prints is not really my thing. I love photographing people, not with any real interest in honestly representing them, but for the dynamic that they offer to the photograph. Why did you decide to do an exhibition of your work together rather than separately? JT: The Photo Biennial in Brighton is a big event and a celebration of the huge talent and diversity of new and established photographers exhibiting side by side. Collaborative exhibitions are great fun and can enhance each other’s work; you spur each

other on to be more adventurous. Hopefully it will also raise our profiles. JW: Ultimately taking photographs is quite isolating, so the prospect of a project with somebody else, particularly a good friend, was really appealing. Both of us are instinctive and imaginative photographers and so there was strong unpredictable element to what we would produce as a team – something I found hugely intriguing. Nothing could bemore boring than imagining the final edit before we even start. The process is as much part of the attraction as the completed exhibition. We tend to shoot similar things with a different approach and different results. Plus, it would be great fun – never underestimate the need for having a good laugh. What work will you be showing? JT: We will be showing a variety of images centred mainly around people, focusing on Brighton and a variety of street life in other locations. We both appreciate humour and split-second timing as well as dark, edgy images so we will be featuring those as a combined edit. We are also showing our own personal categories; in my case it will include more conceptual and surreal images examining relationships and interaction. JW: Our individual work breaks down into similar categories, although we each have our more personal categories too. The joint category, which constitutes the bulk of the work, will include Brighton life, humour, street photography and some darker work, all shot in different situations, different circumstances and different countries. We are still working through the final edit, something that I am sure will continue for a couple more weeks yet. Talk us through the name Parallels , how did you come up with this name for the exhibition? JT: Wewere brainstormingwords that suggest a synergy between us.We share both a passion for photography and an alternative view on theworldbut our photography interpretations and styles are very different. We could walk down the same street, photograph similar things, butwewouldhave completelydifferent outcomes. The word parallels sums us up – in harmony but independent. Your promotional poster combines images of your faces rather than your work. It’s not often we see the photographer’s face, what made you decide to do this? JT: By using our faces it gives our work an

Above Repression, part of Jo Teasdale’s Fellowship panel for the RPS. Left Break-out, London, Sloane Square Below Lead-on, Brighton Pride Festival

©JoTeasdale

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