FFO: PHOTOGRAPHIC ART, MINIMALISM AND EXPERIMENTAL CURATION!
Who are you and where are you currently based?
Hilda Quick – I’m a Photographic Artist and Curator and a current third year student at Leeds Arts University. I’m based in Northern England, namely Leeds/Northumberland.
How would you describe the photography and arts scene to anyone that’s not from Leeds/Northumberland?
For me, Northumberland is lacking in a younger and more experimental art scene. There’s lots of wonderful art but it seems to be mostly traditional landscapes and wildlife which is not where my main interests lie. So coming from rural Northumberland, Leeds amazed (and continues to amaze) me with how much there is to do and see. The art scene is really diverse and I’m never short of events/exhibitions to go to or opportunities to take advantage of. There’s quite a few exhibition spaces that are free to use which I think encourages young artists to put on our own events as well. The cities’ passion for art really stands out and I’d like to see the Northern art scene continue to grow.
What is your current photographic work about?
My current work explores perfection and the subjectivity of it, but I’m still not quite sure where it’s leading me! At the moment, it is a series of experimentations exploring the existence of perfection within Photography, entitled ‘Defects’. A range of methods (both digital and physical manipulation) have been used to attempt perfection, but in doing so new imperfections are created. The name reflects both these imperfections, as well as the inadequacy of the experiments themselves as they work towards a final, perfected outcome. I’m letting the work guide me so it could become something slightly different in the end!
What sort of photographer would you classify yourself as if you had to categorise yourself?
If I had to, I’d say I was a little bit documentary and a lot fine art, but I’ve decided to stop categorising myself in that way and to just let my work be whatever it is. I’ve recently started to call myself a ‘Photographic Artist’ – it seems suitably vague and also covers my more physical work along with my curatorial practice.
Is there any certain subject matter you prefer photographing? Is there anything in particular that draws your eye photographically?
Sometimes my subject matter is really important to my concept, but currently I’m not paying too much attention to exactly what I am photographing. I look for interesting lines, colours and shapes wherever I can find them – at the moment that seems to mostly be the floor! I’m also really fascinated by found Vernacular Photography – I’ve done a couple of projects focusing on it in the past and plan to do more.
What got you interested in photography and taking images?
I think I’ve always been creative and had an interest in photographs, but I can’t really pinpoint when I decided photography was for me. The earliest memories I have of my photographic interest are some embarrassing self portraits I took in the garden. When I studied Photography at A-level, I was really interested in surreal work which seems a world away from my practice now, but I can see those influences in my current work as I rarely settle with a straight photograph and instead often manipulate my images.
Who are you inspired by?
My main influences are probably Thomas Demand, Lucas Blalock and John Houck. I’m fascinated by the manipulation and materiality within their practice, and at what stage in their workflow this is carried out. However, Nerhol and Ruth van Beek also use physical manipulation in really interesting ways and I’m also in awe of Pat Flynn’s use of CGI.
What are your future aspirations?
I’m really interested in curation – particularly that which explores and pushes the boundaries of the medium – so I can see myself working with other artists’ work in the future as a curator for galleries or publications. (I’m putting on a group exhibition in May called ‘Point of View’ with my talented pal Kathryn Brown which I am curating so keep an eye out for more details soon!) I’m also intrigued by the idea of exhibiting outside the gallery walls and would like to explore this in the near future. However, I’m really keen to keep practising photography myself and would love the opportunity to travel more with my career (hire me).
What advice would you recommend to young photographers today?
When you get a brief, don’t do it how you think it should be done – do it how you want to do it, be different! And don’t let uncertainty in your work/idea stunt your creativity, just keep making work and see where it leads you. I’ve been guilty of both of these mistakes in the past but I’m so much happier with my work now I’ve come to these realisations.
Also, I’m just starting up Faff (@faffzine) – an online platform celebrating materiality within contemporary photography (coming soon(ish) in print too). So give that a follow for cool features and other interesting stuff!
My website is currently in the progress of being made, but when it’s done you can find it at hildaquick.co.uk – so keep an eye out! but for now, follow me on my Instagram here (or else)