End of Genesis, Chloe Newman,
Part of the Issue 02 New Graduates feature.
Carnival Magazine speaks to London College of Communication graduate Chloe Newman about her surreal photographic style, her inspiration and her career aspirations. We talk about her editorial, End of Genesis, an extraterrestrial collection that examines society's troubling relationship with artificiality...
What university did you study at?
London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, BA (Hons) Photography
Tell us about yourself.
I currently live and work in London. Asides from photography my other great love is cinema. I love going to see old and new films, reading film theory and learning about cinematography.
What began your love for photography?
I've always been drawn to visual subjects. I originally studied graphic design at school and then eventually studied photography. I really love how photography is a subject that is forever expanding, you can always discover new photographers, different ways of taking imagery and experimenting.
Tell us about your photographic style.
The reoccurring theme that I like to keep in my images is a notion of the image having a seductive alluring exterior with a disturbing undertone that lurks beneath. I think my images have a surreal outlook on our contemporary or even future environment. Looking particularly at artificiality and ambiguous experience.
What photographers inspire your practice?
This changes regularly and I tend to be inspired from different sources asides from photography. Currently I love the work of Jesse Kanda and one of my all time favourites is H. R. Giger. Photographically, I think Mat Maitland is so good at what he creates.
Tell us about your featured editorial, End of Genesis.
'End of Genesis' is a techno-surreal shrine to the distraction of the sheen oozing with a lurking disturbed reality underneath once the gleaming metallic surface is scratched. A luxury simulated theatre subtly filtering into our own known world and a reflection of our contingent contemporary condition of awareness to the impending collapse and the apathy that glosses over it via the superficial sheen. An extraterrestrial collection that examines society's troubling relationship with artificiality, positing an alter universe parallel to our own where traces of the natural and familiar are tangled with artificiality, the unstable and unreadable. The synthetic merges into the organic, and humans melt into robots in this gravity suspended world. 'End of Genesis' is a product of a hybrid relationship between the enticing and the disconcerting, luring the audience into a false sense of safety within the vivid seductive exterior underlined with uncanny content to enforce a sense of unease, a disturbed eroticism. The further technology and science progresses, the more familiarities such as the body can be augmented and altered, therefore the more abstract our experience of the world becomes. For a long time coming I wanted to create a surreal science fiction series, so 'End of Genesis' was a way of merging my admiration for science, technology and the unexplainable. Working on this really challenged my technical skills, in both shooting and post production.
What's next for your career, now that you've graduated?
I have a few collaborations in the pipeline and whilst primarily being a photographer I will also be moving into the art direction arena.
If you could show one person your portfolio, who would it be and why?
That's a great and really tough question! I think it would have to be David Lynch, I just have so much respect for his quirky point of view.
Has your work featured in any other publications?
I've had more work featured online than in printed publications, although I have one coming up that I'm very excited about!
What was the best moment of your time at university?
I went to a lot of photography festivals for the first time last year; I went to Les Rencontres d'Arles, Unseen and ParisPhoto. It was great to see a wide range of diversity. Each festival was very different and its always a plus when you get to travel to a different country to see them!
Finally, where would you like to be in a year’s time? What is the dream?
The dream is to still be photographing my eccentric and eclectic photographs, and to be collaborating and meeting great people. All with a bit of travelling thrown in!
See more of Chloe's work in Carnival Magazine Issue 02 New Graduate Feature and on her portfolio website.