PropDep is a series which was first originally featured in the first issue of The Quarterly. Captured by our very own Photographer Extraordinaire slash Creative Director Roo Lewis. It was a shoot that really set the tone in terms of what we’ve been striving towards with The Quarterly as a project. Amazing photography, epic concepts and though provoking context.
PropDep is a series which explores self-censorship and the impact it has on our own personal development.
Each image features a young artist who is trying to establish their work but is ultimately held back by the need to earn a living in London. I asked each artist to bring two or three items which they love, find inspirational and without which they cannot satisfy their passion. Each subject was then photographed at their place of work where I then placed their favourite pieces in the frame. These items are clues to the nature of their passion which censors their true selves yet manage to be kept well within their professional environment.
The subjects were all found through friends of friends. It was important that these people were trying to achieve their ‘real self’ rather than just liking the idea of being a part of the creative industry.
The nature of this project lends itself to be shot in a documentary style. I wanted the subject to be shown at work with no make up artist or stylist – straight up real as they are. I shot it in a voyeuristic way to give the image interest; like it’s a snap shot of someone we meet at work but know their secret. I really like old government records, you see a lot of material surface under the Freedom of Information Act with these photographs and typewritten documents (much of which has been censored). Everything about the photo is uncensored and unaltered apart from the individuality of the subject (their face).
The struggling artist is well documented in history – the cafés of London are full of resting actors and illustrators working on their portfolios. However, with the explosion of the digital age there comes a whole set of new challenges. No longer is talent lost due to lack of opportunity or resources, rather the challenge is rising above the cacophony.
To see the article in full you can download issue of of The Quarterly Here.