Seeing us into the new month of July is a fresh Artist Feature with London based photographer James Greenhalgh!
Keep Reading to find out more about his work based around Identity and Masculinity and creative inspirations…
Q1: What is your Name, Age, and Where are you based?
A: I’m James Greenhalgh, 21 and I’m based in London.
Q2: How did you first get into your creative practice/ work?
A: I first got into photography by total mistake. I had never studied anything creative at school and I thought I was going to be a computer scientist. I had to pick my A-Levels and one of the subjects I selected (Anthropology) was removed from the curriculum because not enough people picked the subject so I was pulled into my head of year’s office to quickly pick another random subject. I selected photography as I thought it might be a cool skill to learn but I thought I was going to focus on my more academic subjects. My teachers then introduced me to artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans and Nan Goldin; suddenly I saw how photography was able to communicate emotions, stories, and people’s experiences in a way that words can’t achieve. From there I started working on how I could use photography to capture my own identity and the people around me.
Q3: Are there any main or overarching themes you explore in your work?
A: My work explores my identity, in particular, how the way men challenge and express their masculinity has changed as we grow up in a generation where identity expression is more fluid and the traditional archetype of ‘Man’ is developing.
Q4: How has the COVID- 19 Pandemic affected your work?
A: COVID-19 has resulted in my graduation show being massively altered, final major university project being rushed to completion, and job prospects being put on hold indefinitely or canceled. I’ve taken this time to look back over my archive and reflect on what I’ve been creating, I’ve done a couple shoots over video call but for the most part, I just can’t wait to get back into the studio and creating work again.
Q5: Highlight one of your biggest inspirations!
A: David Armstrong: I was introduced to David’s work really late in my university degree and I only wish I found his work earlier. His portraits of people he encountered in his life (friends, lovers, and even acquaintances who left an impact on him) are so simplistic but through them, you start to see the life of David come through the images. He was also Nan Goldin’s flatmate for a long time (who’s work really inspired me when I was younger) and it was super interesting to research how they collaborated on different projects as their photographs tell similar stories of identity expression through other people.
Q6: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
A: In 5 years time, I hope to be working with amazing designers, stylists, artists and models for magazines and fashion campaigns. I’m currently working for other photographers and hope to follow in their footsteps.
Q7: If you could share a message with the world, what would it be?
A: Please listen to your Black friends when they share their experiences of racism, don’t argue, just listen. If you need a place to start your research into racial inequality, read “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race” by Reni Eddo-Lodge or “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo or if you need a short book to get you started, read “Dark Days” by James Baldwin. Black Lives Matter.
To see more of James’ amazing photography work visit his website… james-greenhalgh.com
Or Instagram ! Where there is also a link to his BA Degree show!
Thankyou So Much For Reading, see you again soon…