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Claire Griffiths Photography

Today our guest is a photographer called Claire , based in Blackpool, Lancashire, U.K. She graduated with a Fine Art degree from Northampton University in 2001. Claire's photography documents a variety of human conditions such as performance, theatre, art. Living in Blackpool which is a Victorian seaside resort there tends to be a rich variety of subject matter. We have conducted an interview with Claire.

What do you usually like to document with photography?
Because my photography began in dark rooms I came to photography through art school practise – drawing, painting and sculpture, my degree course offered photography and I became interested in playing around in their dark rooms and experimenting with film and black and white film processing. I was interested in the aesthetics of an image of how a photograph can steal a moment or lead the viewer to think about a story that the photograph portrays - I had always been concerned with the "inbetween moment". 

Since leaving art school my photography has become far more traditional, working for local councils and artistic organisations documenting events or moments in a traditional way. My current focus is around Blackpool's performance community and Blackpool’s strong emerging art scene. 

I photograph children a lot and am really interested in childhood spirit and how we change as adults to become self-aware, how we construct masks to hide behind as grownups and mass Media’s effect on us.

What is the most challenging when photographing human conditions such as performance and theatre? What do you enjoy capturing about art?
Much of the performance based activity I capture can be very fast paced, low lit and unpredictable so as well as being exciting it can be over in a second so if you are not ready and in place for the “decisive moment” the shot can be missed. I am constantly pushing myself to create the connection between the person and thing I am photographing and the image, seeking to capture the authentic personality “the inbetween moment”. 

Some of my work has been working with hard to reach communities in Blackpool and was lucky to have been given the opportunity to assist delivering workshops with Len Grant an award winning photographer  for individuals in an abstinence recovery programme with another award winning organisation. From there myself and photographer Jill Reidy developed junior workshops for and in turn were able to create a further body of workshops for a council based commission aimed at increasing confidence through photography in the South Shore area of Blackpool.

I always considered photography as a bit of an easy route at art school and it is a definite accessible medium, most people are able to take a decent image. But when you begin to photograph you realise it is a limitless medium and very competitive, it kinda gets in your blood like a disease. There are hundreds of images floating about the internet all the time and tons of others images makers, you begin to ask yourself how do you make your images different how do you get the viewer to see your work, how do you get the viewer to respond? Photographing and creating photographing artistic practise is an extension to what I do and an ongoing journey of learning and discovery.

How does living near the rich variety of subject matter at a Victorian seaside resort influence your photography works?
I feel really lucky to live in such a unique place, a place where a lot of street photography has been taken by photographers such as Martin Parr historically. I try and seek out an alternative photographic viewpoint, one of my projects involved photographing backstage throughout Showzam a yearly circus festival in Blackpool, attempting to allow a glance into an unseen world away from traditional performance photography.

In which ways are your personal practice evolving?
I have become very interested in portraits and peoples personal stories but also think about how photography can be used as installation. I am currently thinking about alternative forms of exhibition and how art sits within popular culture.

What are your future and upcoming personal projects?
I am currently in talks with a travelling circus with a view to photograph behind the scenes with an accompanying blog. I am also working with VisitBlackpool on a commercial project developing images of behind the scenes moments at Blackpool Tower and The Pleasure Beach and am due to document Blackpool’s Lightpool festival which is a huge event and quite new to the town for the future I hope to create a book to showcase much of the backstage and behinds the scenes images I have created for future generations to enjoy.

Claire Griffiths Photography Reviewed by JaamZIN on 7:57:00 PM Rating: 5
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