FFO (OR INSTEAD NOT FFO): BRUTALIST ARCHITECTURE IN MODERN DAY SOCIETY
Who are you and where are you currently based?
My name is Olivia Joanne and I am currently based in Leeds and Liverpool.
What is your current photographic work about?
I am currently doing a project surrounding Brutalist architecture; a post-war architectural movement that is both praised and shunned. My work aims to explore the beauty within it by showing details and textures of the building’s exterior.
What initially attracted you to photograph Brutalist architecture? What are you aiming to achieve with your project?
I’m interested in architecture as a whole but Brutalism is a style that has a very mixed opinion. It’s both loved and hated by many due to its overpowering structure. This project will show the beauty within brutalism by focusing on the lines and form within it.
What locations have you been photographing for your project?
For this project I have been focusing on cities in the North, so far I have looked at Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield. I plan to continue this exploration further North as Newcastle has some amazing examples of Brutalist architecture. I then want to explore the south – especially London, as it has so many famous examples such as the Barbican.
How do you intend to present your Brutalist work? Have you ever considered exhibiting it or instead of making a zine/book from your body of work?
I have created a book with this work and have also created individual zines for each city which I will be selling at the Leeds Arts University Art Market during the degree show. I have presented this work in two ways as the book highlights the similarities within all of the buildings and the zines celebrate the individual cities.
What got you interested in photography and taking images?
I have had an interest in photography ever since I was 12 years old. I used to go walking in Cornwall and always had a camera with me. My fascination with photography grew from there and from the help from tutors in college and at University. I love capturing my surroundings and collecting them as imagery.
How was your photography developed over your time at university? Have you found the experience beneficial?
While being at university I have been exposed to so many different ways of seeing and thinking about work from both my tutors and peers. This has helped me to develop my practice through peer reviews, conversation and by looking at my work with fresh ideas. University has definitely helped me to find my style and genre by giving me the opportunity to experiment with different mediums and try different genres to see what works for me and what doesn’t.
Do you intend to continue practicing photography after University? And if how, in what way?
I definitely will continue with photography. I want to continue to explore brutalist architecture as well as other style and keep building my photographic collection of buildings.
Who are you inspired by?
I find inspiration in places more so than photographers. Seeing the world around me changing, especially architecture, makes me want to document it and therefore inspires me to keep making work.
What places offer you a constant source of inspiration?
Being in the city also gives me great inspiration, I just need to look up and I can see so many styles of architecture and they’re all so different. This makes me want to photograph and learn about it.
What are your future aspirations?
I plan to keep building my portfolio as an architectural photographer. I want to explore more genres of architecture and learn more about each of them.
What advice would you recommend to young photographers today?
Don’t get too wrapped up in what others are doing, as long as you know your path. Stick to it.
YOU CAN KEEP UP WITH OLIVIA’S WORK VIA HER INSTAGRAM!