Recently we had journalist Seline Bullocke visiting our gallery, who held interviews with five of the seven Art School Awards winners! This week we will highlight one of these interviews each day. To conclude this series, who better to finish with than BA3 and grand prize winner Elliott Walker?
SB: You won the Grand Prize and you’re also the winner of the BA 3rd Year Prize. As a fine art photographer, your work deconstructs the function of the image in photography and it’s also very much about the article itself, so, the way in which you manipulate the physical object of the photograph. In what way do you feel that you assess the purpose of identity in the work you create?
EW: It’s about discussing the relationship between the image and the person, the representational image as a photograph and the person. It’s like going beyond the photograph to get deeper into the person. So I’ve given physicality, it’s something you can’t see but it is actually there.
SB: You’re going to be participating shortly in the ‘Twenty-Seven Seventy-Two’ show at The Rag Factory with fellow Awards Winner Alice Woods. Can you tell us a bit about this show?
EW: I’ve organised the show – it should be quite exciting. There’s a lot of degree-show work in there, a lot of emerging photographers.
SB: How have you found it, organising your own exhibition?
EW: It’s been a real experience organising it and quite stressful. It’s been good, I’ve enjoyed it and it’s inspired me to do more in the future but maybe with less artists. Alice and I are going to collaborate in the future and do some more together, so I think it would be better to have more people to work with.
SB: What does it mean to you, to have this amazing opportunity for a residency with Debut Contemporary at this point in your career, ie, you’ve just finished your degree?
EW: Well, it’s amazing. I didn’t think people would understand the work as I thought it was really quite abstract. You can’t take it at face-value, you have to read into it. People at university didn’t really read into it, they just thought it was like Tipex. But unless you actually understand it’s like the ground-up drugs and the fact that it’s real, the drugs are real – I’m just glad that they read into it and appreciated it for what it’s worth.
SB: In what way do you feel that winning the Grand Prize is going to help develop your career as an artist?
EW: Hopefully it’ll open some doors. I’ll gain some contacts and be able to exhibit more widely in the London area and get my work out so more people can see it.
SB: How important would you say it is for a gallery to provide this kind of opportunity for emerging artists such as yourself?
EW: I think there should be more free entry young competitions out there because I’ve found I’ve entered a lot but some of them are like ten, fifteen pounds, which isn’t a lot but when you’re at Art School you’ve got like, next to nothing so, I think there should be more opportunities like Debut Contemporary. I’m really happy that I’ve won.
SB: What are you most looking forward to over to over the next year with Debut?
EW: I’m looking forward to the Commission. I’ve got a few ideas. I’m looking forward to getting my work out there because I’ve been in Kingston, not that many people see it really, without any disrespect to Kingston. I’m looking forward to showing my work to more people.
SB: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’m really happy that I’ve met Alice and that we’re going to collaborate on some shows. That’s another big thing that I got from this. We’ve already done one show - she organised it and I was in it and now she’s in mine. I hope to keep in touch with a lot of people that I’ve met from this and hopefully we can do more shows together in the future.
Seline Bullocke is a writer based in London. Follow Seline on Twitter: @Arttext_London