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In this Episode…
Today Valerie shares a conversation with Greg Turner, a photographer from the UK. They discuss two specific projects Greg completed in recent years and how projects often come to the photographer in the most unexpected ways.
My work is driven by a combination of poetry and pragmatism. I take inspiration from a variety of places, in particular Diane Arbus, Joel Sternfeld, Richard Renaldi, Rineke Dijkstra and Laura Panack, from Avedon’s ‘In The American West’ series as well as the Italian Neo-Realist cinema movement.
I work primarily outside in the street, in parks and on the beach, in between meetings, while on business trips or if I have a spare 40 minutes at the end of the day. As a result, my work tends towards spontaneity and serendipity. I photograph people as they are in the moment I find them. Sometimes the connections are brief, sometimes they develop and flourish, but they are all bound and connected by the place and time in which they occur.
This connection with place and time is central to my work. It is a means by which to both pragmatically structure my activity around family life, and poetically explore the ideas that are important to me. By locating a subject in a specific place and time, I have the chance to ask, ‘what brought you here to me, what ties you to this moment, where have you come from and where are you going?’ In asking these questions I hope to make a more meaningful connection with an otherwise detached stranger and thereby learn something more profound about them and the nature of our humanity.
My focus is the humanity of the person in front of the camera; community, gender identity, sexuality, transition, conformity and vulnerability are all prevalent motifs in my work, but it is this last phenomenon, our vulnerability, that interests me most. It is when we are at our most vulnerable that our humanity is most readily evident; it is in our collective vulnerability that all our humanity lies.