Emerge Spotlight: Jasmine Darrell

NTU’s 20th annual photo festival Emerge kicks off next month, and Platform’s Photo Editor Callum Baigrie is following the build up to what is turning out to be one of the biggest and best shows yet. Read more about the festival here.

On the run up to the festival, Platform are speaking to some of the photographers exhibiting. We’ll be finding out who is inspiring them, what their projects are about, and what they plan to do after the festival closes. This week we’re starting with Jasmine Darrell, who is exploring personal identity in her work.

Photo by Jasmine Darrell
Photo by Jasmine Darrell

What is your degree show project about?

This body of work is the culmination of a personal exploration of my family and ultimately how they have shaped my identity. I start initially by exploring my parents’ divorce, which occurred when I was young, and the effect that this has had on relationships within my family.  I don’t want this to be a negative portrayal of divorce, but a form of photo-therapy which has taken place, in order for me to gain a more informed perspective.  Instead this project is more of a reflection of the process of maturing and realising the importance and values of family, regardless of the complications I have faced.

Utilising medium format throughout, I have been able to carefully select a body of images (both portraiture and landscape) that best represent the underlying themes and memories I wish to convey. I have a keen interest in writing also, and will be accompanying my photographs with text in order to communicate my personal thoughts to the viewer, and to explore the multilayered notion of placing language and photography next to each other, through my practice. This dual exploration in my work will manifest itself throughout my final publication, a handmade photo-book.

Which photographers/artists are inspiring this body of work?

I was initially inspired by Phillip Toledano’s project The Reluctant Father. I think this project is really interesting and very easy to engage with. The whole project is a visually documented journey of himself as a first time father- he has made it so the audience also embarks on that journey with him. He accompanies each photograph with a short narrative relevant to the time in which the photograph was taken, and this addition of text really adds to the project. This idea of combining a narrative with photographs to tell a story to the viewer is something that I have used throughout my project.

After reading Guy Moreton’s  photo-book Unrecounted with Robert MacFarlane’s essay accompanying it, I became more aware of the fact that one can have an interaction with landscape; it can project onto us just as we can do the same in return. This idea of a sort of reciprocity between the landscape and us is something I found really interesting, and considered when taking photographs of landscapes within my project.

I became more aware of the fact that one can have an interaction with landscape; it can project onto us just as we can do the same in return.

What do you plan on doing after you graduate?

After graduating I plan to get as much experience as possible within the field of curation and gallery work. I love making research made work and I hope to be able to participate in Artist Residencies where I can work on projects and create exhibitions that make a difference within a community.  I hope to do an MA in Curation in London, which will be a really great chance to further my knowledge of exhibition making within contexts other than photography.  It will also provide me with the chance to gain work experience within big, leading galleries in London. Experience such as this is needed in order to go into a career in Curation, which is what I want to achieve.  I also want to continue with photography in terms of making my own work, and I plan to work as a freelance photographer alongside as it is something that I love.

Jasmine will be exhibiting at American Apparel, on Bridlesmith Gate. Check out more of Jasmine’s work on the Emerge website here.