Inspired by Arbus: celebrating emerging photographers

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The early photographs of Diane Arbus – currently on display at Hayward Gallery (diane arbus: in the beginning) – are among the most intimate, surprising and haunting works of art of the twentieth century. Working almost exclusively in New York City, Arbus captured the spirit of post-war American society and her work inspired a generation of photographers.

Inspired by the spirit and themes of Arbus, we partnered with University of the Arts London – currently ranked number two in the world for Art and Design in the QS World University Rankings by Subject – to invite emerging photographers to share their own work which they felt best captured the zeitgeist of London and its population in our post-Trump/post-Brexit society.

From the many entrants, the following six winners were selected.

A portrait of photographer Carlos Alba
@carlosalbaphoto

Carlos Alba

MA Photography
London College of Communication

Carlo’s portraits explore the idea that change is inevitable. “I am questioning the idea of ‘Home’ and how its meaning can change depending on the societies we live in and our personalities.”

William Allen; UAL student and photographer who took part in Southbank Centre's Inspired by Arbus competition
@williamalln

William Allen

Design for Art Direction
London College of Communication

William’s work focuses on the people of London, their activities, attitudes and interaction with the surrounding city. “To some the idea of the day to day seems quite banal, but in such a major metropole, it is never banal.”

Theresa Maria Forthaus; UAL student and photographer who took part in Southbank Centre's Inspired by Arbus competition
@theresa_maria_forthaus

Theresa Maria Forthaus

BA Photography
London College of Communication

Taken on the streets of Southwark, Theresa’s photography is inspired by Arbus’ view for absurdity. “The continuous shift between light and shadow can serve as a symbol for the ups and downs we experience in the socio-political context of today.”

Cocoa Laney a UAL student and photographer who took part in Southbank Centre's Inspired by Arbus competition
@cocoalaney

Cocoa Laney

MA Photojournalism & Documentary Photography
London College of Communication

For her study Cocoa asked guests at a budget hotel near Victoria Station for their portrait. “Hotels are in-between spaces, caught between the public and private. I found that it is in these spaces that people let down their guard.”

Richard Maidment; UAL student and photographer who took part in Southbank Centre's Inspired by Arbus competition
@richardmaidment

Richard Maidment

Fashion Photography
London College of Fashion

Richard cites Diane Arbus as a huge influence on him and his studies. “Her ability to capture the true essence of a person with a beautiful uneasy feeling flowing through her work."

A portrait of the photographer Errin Yesilkaya
@errinyesilkaya

Errin Yesilkaya

BA Photography
London College of Communication

Errin’s submissions were taken on the busy streets of Peckham where he lives. “I always want to photograph everyone I see, the backdrop makes everyone here seem like such characters.”

the photographs

View an image from each of the photographers' submissions below.

 

Carlos Alba's submission for 'Inspired by Arbus' photography competition run by Southbank Centre with UAL. The photograph depicts two teenage women on a bicycle in a park.
Carlos Alba
Student of MA Photography at London College of Communication
Carlos Alba's submission for 'Inspired by Arbus' photography competition run by Southbank Centre with UAL. The photograph depicts two teenage women on a bicycle in a park.

Carlos Alba

Carlos Alba
“As part of a society, we should encounter the potential problems that change can result in and defy them. Change should be seen as an opportunity to grow, not only collectively but as an individual. I believe that objects, artefacts and archive can be used as a tool to address changes and, in particular, integration – making the whole process a positive experience. In my work I am examining the question of how the conscious act of walking can contribute to the discussion of borders as spaces rather than places. I am LAO questioning the idea of ‘home’ and how this meaning can change depending on the societies that we live and our personalities.”
Photograph submitted by William Allen for 'Inspired by Arbus' photography competition run by Southbank Centre with UAL. Photograph depicts two men in traditional Scottish dress, standing on a London bridge.
William Allen
Student of Design for Art Direction at London College of Communication
Photograph submitted by William Allen for 'Inspired by Arbus' photography competition run by Southbank Centre with UAL. Photograph depicts two men in traditional Scottish dress, standing on a London bridge.

William Allen

William Allen
“The main idea behind my work is to capture the purity that is present in the day to day. To some people the idea of the day to day seems quite banal, but being in London which is such a major metropole of the world, the day to day is never banal. My main focus is the people of London, their activities, attitudes and their interaction with the spaces that surround them. Although I am looking to move into street portraiture of the subjects I cross, my main focus has been on street photography.”
Photograph submitted by Theresa Maria Forthaus for the 'Inspired by Arbus' photography competition run by Southbank Centre with UAL. Photograph depicts two young boys standing in a crowd, in Southwark, South London.
Theresa Maria Forthaus
Student of BA Photography at London College of Communication
Photograph submitted by Theresa Maria Forthaus for the 'Inspired by Arbus' photography competition run by Southbank Centre with UAL. Photograph depicts two young boys standing in a crowd, in Southwark, South London.

Theresa Maria Forthaus

Theresa Maria Forthaus
“Inspired by Diane Arbus and her view for absurdity, my series captures moments and details on the streets of my neighbourhood in Southwark. For me, the continuous shift between light and shadow can serve as a symbol for the ups and downs we experience in the socio-political context of today. It also draws attention to the importance of the cohesion between cross different generations.”
Photograph submitted by Cocoa Laney for the 'Inspired by Arbus' photography competition run by Southbank Centre with UAL. The photo depicts a young woman in a bedroom in a budget hotel by London's Victoria Station
Cocoa Laney
Student of MA Photojournalism & Documentary Photography at London College of Communication
Photograph submitted by Cocoa Laney for the 'Inspired by Arbus' photography competition run by Southbank Centre with UAL. The photo depicts a young woman in a bedroom in a budget hotel by London's Victoria Station

Cocoa Laney

Cocoa Laney
“These images were taken during a night's stay at a budget hotel by Victoria Station, where I asked various guests for their portraits as they entered and exited their rooms. Hotels are in-between spaces, caught somewhere between the public and private, and I found that it is in these spaces that people let down their guards. This city can be isolating, especially for newcomers like me, but for one surreal night London's transitory nature facilitated the making of new connections. We exchanged stories and continued our journeys the next day.”
Richard Maidment
Student of Fashion Photography at London College of Fashion

Richard Maidment

Richard Maidment
“My passion lies in seeking out and photographing interesting people and unique moments taking place in everyday life. I try to capture the emotion and individual personalities of my subjects in a natural and candid way. Throughout my studies Diane Arbus was a huge influence on me, with her ability to capture the true essence of a person with a beautiful uneasy feeling flowing through her work.”
Photograph submitted by Errin Yesilkaya for the 'Inspired by Arbus' photography competition run by Southbank Centre with UAL. Photograph depicts a smartly dressed man standing outside a shop in Peckham, South London
Errin Yesilkaya
Student of BA Photography at London College of Communication
Photograph submitted by Errin Yesilkaya for the 'Inspired by Arbus' photography competition run by Southbank Centre with UAL. Photograph depicts a smartly dressed man standing outside a shop in Peckham, South London

Errin Yesilkaya

Errin Yesilkaya
“Living in Peckham I always wanted to photograph everyone I saw. I think it’s the backdrop that makes everyone there seem like such characters. It’s such a busy and chaotic place, so for me, taking a photo and, even for that brief minute, getting to share the space and time with the person I’m photographing seems to block out all that’s going on around us.”

 

Each of these six photographers will be featured on Hayward Gallery’s Instagram channel during diane arbus: in the beginning, and a selection of their work will be displayed on digital screens across Southbank Centre.

 

diane arbus: in the beginning at Hayward Gallery runs 13 February – 6 May 2019

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