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Katharine Cooper
2014 © Gabrielle Menezes
Katharine Cooper
Katharine Cooper

Katharine Cooper

Country: South Africa
Birth: 1978

Katharine Cooper, born 1978 in Grahamstown, in South Africa's Eastern Cape, moved at a young age to Zimbabwe, where she completed her schooling. In 1998, she moved to the United Kingdom to pursue her studies in photography, before finally landing at the Arles national school of photography, from which she graduated with honours in 2004, notably for her film "Family Archive". Katharine worked as in-house printer to photographer Lucien Clergue, in his Arles-based atelier, from 2004 up until his death in 2014. Her work has been exhibited in various collective shows, and bought by art-collectors from around the world. Katharine Cooper regularly teaches workshops in the Arles region, whose Camargue landscapes and strong winds remind her of her homeland. In 2012 Katharine Cooper received the Academy of the Arts' Photography Prize for her series "White Africans", which showed in Paris October/November 2013.
 

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John Delaney
United States
1963
In today's growing global society the precious differences between our many world cultures are rapidly eroding away. What do we all lose when an ancient culture disappears and centuries of tradition are abandoned and then forgotten? For me, photography has become a way to speak out against this passing. It is a way to record an existence that may soon vanish, to capture and celebrate what it is that makes a people unique, not just in appearance, but also in spirit. The method and style of my photography is very traditional. My equipment has changed little in over a century. I travel with a large format wood view camera and a portable studio tent. My traveling studio not only controls the light but also serves as a common meeting ground in which my subjects present themselves. I give them little direction and I let serendipity rule the moment. The goal is to create a portrait that reveals something beneath the obvious: a sense of grace, nobility, or humanity. The photograph needs to be more than just an observation. It is my hope that the connection made between the subject and myself will be passed on to others through my work. My wish is to honor my subjects in a simple un-patronizing and respectful way. The images that are captured on film come to life for me in the darkroom. Irving Penn said, "A beautiful print is a thing in itself, not just a halfway house on the way to the page". I love to dig deep into a negative to create a print that is full of the light, textures, and depths of expression that I experienced in the field. The result should be an image that not only tells a story about its subject, but is also a beautiful object in itself. Native Americans referred to photographers of the 19th century as "shadow catchers", and feared that the camera would steal away their spirit. That, in fact, is exactly what I hope to do. Not only to capture light, but also the "essence" of the people I photograph. In this way maybe I can preserve more than just a moment before it fades away into time.My love of photography began when I discovered Irving Penn's Worlds in a Small Room. Penn's work, as well that of Bruce Davidson, sparked my creative imagination. I attended Rochester Institute of Technology where I was taught the science and history of photography. But my real education began at the Richard Avedon Studio. I started as his studio assistant then eventually became his master printer. For 15 years I observed his passion, intelligence and meticulous craftmanship. That relationship opened the door to working with my original heros, Irving Penn and Bruce Davidson. Each of these masters informs and inspires my work. Mr. Penn for his wide range and love for the exquisite print; Davidson for the way he immerses himself in his subject, instilling trust; and Avedon with his intense preparation and skillfull cajoling, getting behind the "masks" of his subjects. Source: www.johndelaney.net
Kaat Stieber
The Netherlands
1972
Kaat Stieber is a fine art photographer who weaves the worlds of surrealism and noble Dutch art into her images. Born on a Dutch island, but shaped by her many years abroad and views on the world, Kaat is moved by diverse sceneries. From architecture in ancient cities to fields closer to home, the visuals are stored in her imagination. Capturing instants of nature and structure for later recall. The goal? Crafting her own, new world. Mixing a broad set of creative skills with an internationally acclaimed background in theatre and costume design, Kaat's photos are assembled with vast craftmanship. Kaat Stieber's main mission within the art industry, is to create painterly pictures. Working from her imagination, she combines crafts such as photography, costume making, concepting ideas, directing and over twenty years of experience in theatre into one rich final product. Always building and replaying stories in mind, always clutching a camera to capture specific scenes. Her works of art resemble tableaus from the Dutch Golden Age, clearly depicting pride in Dutch roots and an identification with classic Dutch culture. An admiration of surrealists adds to the scene. Kaat Stieber, crafting from the brain of a dreamer, mostly works with children for her portraits. The children in her images are seen as wholesome humans, each one strongly portraying a certain character. Kaat Stieber is clear in the direction of her pictures - she follows her own, distinctive path and doesn't compromise. The life experiences that lead her to creating her own painterly realms come with a patience in building exactly what is necessary for a photo. Even if that means one picture takes two months to create.
Rémi Chapeaublanc
Self-taught photographer, Rémi Chapeaublanc was destined for a scientific career in bioinformatics. He continued to use the Cartesian approach from this training adding a sensitive, people-centred dimension the day he decided to be a photographer. For his series Gods & Beasts (2011), he crossed Europe and Asia reaching Mongolia. Inside the yurt or outside, at nightfall, he produced portraits of Kazakh nomadic herders and their animals without ever resorting to retouching, despite working in digital. For this most recent series The Last Tsaatan, Rémi Chapeaublanc has chosen to portray a nomadic people again: the Tsaatans, sharing their everyday life, happiness and desire to transmit their skills. About Gods & Beasts A solitary voyage through Europe and Asia, led Rémi Chapeaublanc to Mongolia. The discovery of this country, where Man has not yet desecrated Nature, fed his thinking to create the photographic series Gods & Beasts. In these lands, men and animals depend on ancestral ties that are both sacred and necessary. It is an archaic and visceral relationship in which equivocal domination games are put into questioning. Which are the gods, and which are the beasts? Or rather to whom are they the Gods and for whom are they Beasts? Gods & Beasts consists of raw portraits. While there is an ambiguous hierarchy between men and animals, this series - created outside of a studio, in the original environment - overcomes this cultural order. This work of bringing into the light these relationships - in an almost ceremonial manner - places these Gods and Beasts for once on equal footing. The viewer is thus left the sole judge of the boundary between animal and divine. About The Last Tsaatan What will become of the Tsaatan people? In 2011, Rémi Chapeaublanc set off to find the Tsaatan people, nomadic reindeer herders, straddling the border of Northern Mongolia. Amounting to no more than 282 people in the world, this tribe's way of life has been disrupted by the transformation of its ancestral land into a national park. Hunting, passage and woodcutting are now prohibited there; total bans contradict their centuries-old traditions. Since his first encounter, Rémi Chapeaublanc has continued to go back there, sharing their customs and everyday life for several weeks at a time. With this new photo series, he raises concerns about the future of the Tsaatan people, dealing with the tide of modernity in Mongolia, each year distancing them a little further from their traditional way of life. If the tribe accepts and even laughs at technological progress, it flatly rejects urban life, and opinion is divided regarding tourism. Their life in the Taiga represented absolute freedom. Now it is complex and in particular threatened. Both humane and engaged, this series of photographs is nevertheless graphic with a particularly aesthetical and simple approach. This medium format work, produced traditionally with black and white film and then digitally enhanced, demonstrates the artist's desire to adapt their anachronistic way of life. Rémi Chapeaublanc, who befriended a number of them, now takes the public to task asking: what will be left of the Tsaatan people?
Manuel Armenis
Germany
1971
Manuel Armenis is an award winning independent street and fine-art photographer based in Hamburg, Germany, dedicated to documenting daily life. He was born in Mannheim (Germany). He studied at Icart, École de Photographie in Paris (France), and at the University of the Arts in London (England). Since graduating he has been working as an independent filmmaker and photographer. The emphasis of his practice is the realization of long-term projects with a focus on exploring the human condition within everyday and commonplace urban environments. Manuel´s work has been exhibited internationally in galleries in both solo and group shows. His photographs were published in leading contemporary photography magazines and online. He has received numerous awards, including 1. prize winner at the Sony World Photography Awards in 2018, and has been a finalist at the LensCulture Street Photography Awards in 2017 and at the Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography in 2019, among others. Manuel currently lives and works as a freelance photographer in Hamburg, Germany. About Diamond Days The quintessential trait of the mundane is, of course, its lack of spectacle. It is recognizable to us, familiar, in its plainness and with its non-event-character. Due to those alleged properties it is a world that gets all too willingly labeled boring and banal. At times we might even feel offended by its lack of sophistication. We believe to know the mundane well, but, unimpressed by its unremarkable nature, we usually choose to look elsewhere. And yet, as much as we try to ignore it, there remains this suspicion that we might not be able to evade it. An inkling that it might contain something that keeps us connected. The series Diamond Days is an exploration of the commonplace. We are shown snippets of the everyday, fragments of moments, ordinary situations. There is a playful touch to this world, a colorful lightness and warmth, a sense of joy; and yet, these unassuming landscapes seem to contain something else. Elusive. Layered. Ambiguous. A somewhat bleaker undercurrent which might pick up on the sensation of slight unease that we often associate with the ordinary. By carrying signs of human behavior and a way of living, the ordinary provides us with a rendering of the now. But it also contains references to a time gone by and challenges us to look back. It exposes our need to make sense of our lives and raises the tricky question of what could have been. It confronts us with the notion of missed opportunities and unfulfilled dreams. And it reveals our disposition to fill any void with nostalgia.
Emma Powell
United States
Emma Powell is an artist in residence and lecturer in photography at Iowa State University. Powell graduated from the College of Wooster in Ohio and received her MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work often examines photography's history while incorporating historic processes and or devices within the imagery. In her series In Search of Sleep, Powell uses the cyanotype process to create a visual lullaby in wish she explores personal narratives and metaphors.In Search of SleepFrom my earliest days I have had a difficult relationship with sleep. As a child I avoided it at all costs, especially at night. To get me back to bed, my father used to tell me stories. They were not traditional children’s bedtime stories, but invented tales that began on our quiet street and journeyed down open drains to a dream-world of caverns, forests, and oceans full of unexpected animals and dangers. The story would always find its way back to the real world and end where it had begun, hopefully but doubtfully with me that much closer to sleep.In Search of Sleep recreates this shadowy realm and allows me to explore my real-life questions, from personal dramas to romantic doubts. The cyanotype process, with its distinctive blue tones, visually traverses the distance between waking and sleeping. These images are also toned with tea and wine to both dull the blues and add warmth. Tea, wine, cyanide – all three of these substances relate to different levels of consciousness that often mirror the mental states evoked by my photographs. In Search of Sleep creates a visual lullaby that allows me to safely explore what I love, what I fear, what I remember, and what I imagine.
Hossein Fardinfard
Netherlands-based Iranian documentary photographer Hossein Fardinfard (born 1985) took an unconventional path to his profession. After majoring in cartography, geomorphology, and IT, ultimately he discovered his aptitude for visual storytelling at the age of 30. Fardinfard came to see photography as a means for observing society more intimately, and for knowing himself more deeply in turn. He has thus come to specialize in photography that explores social observation, human rights, and identity. "I like storytelling not only as a process of documenting but also as a means for exerting a constructive influence on society, something like what Lewis Hine, the pioneer of photojournalism, did in his era in the USA. My relationships with photography subjects enhance my understanding of concepts like human rights. To understand this keyword, I need to know people first. Through knowing them, my spiritual investment in human rights has grown remarkably." In the second phase of Fardinfard's artistic life -- at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague -- he had the chance to reflect more intently on the meaning and philosophies of photography and the pictorial arts. This experience also equipped him with principles of psychology and sociology that he readily applied to his photographic gaze. "It's more thrilling when I can find a scientific explanation of the social behaviors and interactions I'm capturing. I believe we can talk about Human Rights in scientific terms. There should be a point where the hard and soft sciences meet. I try to connect them and then visualize that point."
Jennifer Little
United States
1977
Jennifer Little (b. 1977) lives in Oakland, California. Her current photographic work focuses on social and ecological concerns and documents intersections between the natural and the man made. Jennifer received a B.F.A. in Photography from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a tenured Associate Professor at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where she teaches courses covering Digital Photography, Video Production, Documentary Photography, the History of Photography, and Web Design. Jennifer is Chair of the Art Department at University of the Pacific. Jennifer Little's new photographic series, 100 Years of Dust: Owens Lake and the Los Angeles Aqueduct, is receiving significant recognition from galleries, publications, and curators. It just won the prestigious 2014 Critical Mass Top 50 Award from PhotoLucida. This series has also been selected for a solo exhibition at University of the Arts' Sol Mednick Gallery in Philadelphia from March 20 - April 24, 2015. Jennifer has been invited to give a presentation about Owens Lake at the Society for Photographic Education (SPE) National Conference in New Orleans, LA, from March 12-15, 2015. She also presented at the SPE West Regional Conference in Los Angeles on November 15, 2014, with Kathy Bancroft, the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation. Jennifer's series about Owens Lake won the 2014 "Dotphotozine Award for Excellence in Photography" and is featured in the September, 2014, issue of the magazine. This series also won first prize in an October - November, 2013, juried exhibition at Book and Job Gallery on Geary Street in San Francisco: The Human Impact: New Directions in Landscape Photography. Jennifer has exhibited her work at galleries and museums including Stanford University’s Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery; Tag Gallery in Bergamot Station Arts Center, Santa Monica, CA; Photo Center Northwest, Seattle, WA; Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, CA; The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery; The LAB, San Francisco; Viewpoint Photographic Art Center in Sacramento, CA; Eisentrager-Howard Gallery at The University of Nebraska at Lincoln; The Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in Novato, CA; The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, CO; and Jay Etkin Gallery in Memphis, TN. Jennifer’s work has been published and reviewed in Dotphotozine, View Camera Magazine, ArtAscent Magazine, Camera Arts Magazine, and The Austin Chronicle. Jennifer has presented artist talks at Stanford University, San Francisco Art Institute, the Foto 3 Conference, Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, CA, and the Dimen Cultural Eco-museum Forum on the Preservation and Development of Ancient Villages, Dimen, Guizhou, China.About Owens Lake and the Los Angeles AqueductThis project documents the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) legally mandated dust mitigation program at Owens Dry Lake in Southern California. It is the latest chapter in a century of legal battles over water rights and air quality in Owens Valley. Owens Lake lies in Southern California's eastern Sierra, about 200 miles northeast of Los Angeles. This 110-square-mile lake began to dry up in 1913 when the City of Los Angeles diverted the Owens River into the Los Angeles Aqueduct. The new water supply allowed Los Angeles to continue its rapid growth and turned the arid San Fernando Valley into an agricultural oasis, but at a tremendous environmental cost. By 1926, Owens Lake was a dry alkali flat, and its dust became the largest source of carcinogenic particulate air pollution in North America.1
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