The Kent-based photographer paying attention to family and the domestic sphere
Our brief hiatus has seen us finishing off Issue Four (keep your eyes peeled…), but this week we’re back with our Talent series and focusing on Kent-based photographer Charlie Stanhope, whose contemplative narratives “bring light to stories which would otherwise go unheard”.
This methodology is highly influenced by the work of Alec Soth, whose “approach to loosely linking images to one another, allowing each body of work to flow so smoothly from beginning to end, is something which particularly appeals” to Charlie. The key to this process is the combination of aesthetically distinct photographic styles through mixed media (texts, images, found objects and drawings), which in turn has led Charlie to be particularly intrigued by the use of the photobook. For instance, he uses the publication which accompanies his What Remains photo series to reflect upon the strain of (sub)urban construction on natural environments, and humanity’s struggle to balance the needs of both.
Similarly, Last Line Of Trees sheds light on another balancing act, only this time its the “strain of balancing a busy family life with a demanding job … something which has been evident to [Charlie] all [his] life”. As with What Remains, there are relatable, commonly felt issues being discussed here, yet rarely are they considered so explicitly.
Having decided on these often neglected subject matters, Charlie tends to draw out how he wants his images to look before photographing them to ensure they’re as strong as they can be compositionally. This process has developed as a result of the tuition he has received at UCA Rochester, where he is encouraged to think in terms of the smallest details of his work, which consequently develops the whole image. As a result, Charlie told us how he has improved his “approach to photographic language and how to portray and represent [a] subject”, a development clearly evidenced in the series below.