Born in Cambridge, England. Lives and works in London.
So, Imogen, What is your story?
I was lucky to find photography early on. I struggled with dyslexia growing up and found learning in traditional ways at school quite challenging. During the summer holidays, my older sister would run art classes in the shed in our back garden and I quickly learned to use art and photography as a process in which I could navigate and question the world around me. My parents turned our spare room at home into a dark room and, by the age of 9, I was processing film in my parents’ wardrobe.
Why do you make the art you make? Why Photography?
When I turned 19, I fell ill with Lyme disease. I was frustrated with the lack of control and uncertainty that came with being ill while still coming to terms with my body as a young woman and I started making work that explored this. I quickly became aware that by making work out of my own experiences I could comment on larger social issues that others could relate to.
A few years later when my boyfriend of 5 years broke up with me on Facebook messenger, I wanted to take control again, to reach through the glass and make amends for allowing so many relationships to become relics preserved only in the aspic of my Facebook feed.
On 20th March at 2.40pm–exactly one month after my Messenger break-up with him–I learned that my friend Louise had died. I read it on her wall, via a comment posted four months earlier. We had no mutual friends.
I decided to set out on a journey to reconnect with lost people from my past, friends I felt slipping away, one-night stands… using my camera as an excuse for each encounter. The project known as Your Companion in Silence attempts to explore the spaces between reality and representation and to restore some meaning to the notions of ‘connections’.
What does your creative process look like? Where do you find inspiration? What makes you most excited about what you do?
I feel that there’s still a lot of room to be explored with photography and this drives me to constantly ask questions, reflect and push boundaries. I’m fascinated by people and I see photography as a platform to create experiences, collaborate and explore my relationships, while constantly questioning the obsession and need I have to explore life through the lens. My work is usually born from something quite intuitive and it’s often a slow road to understanding and making sense of where it comes from. For me, this process is vital to the final outcome.
What are your thoughts on being an artist in today’s world?
I find it hard to imagine navigating this world without my work as a way to engage and learn, it’s almost become a way of survival for me and so I feel incredibly lucky! It’s exciting doing what you love, but it’s also tough, it takes motivation and persistence to make it your main focus and sustain it as a career.
I do think women follow a greater challenge in the photography industry and I think it’s vitally important that the industry keeps making room to recognize female photographers!
Last but not least, what did you dream about last night?
Funnily enough, I actually dreamt of photography last night – not something I dream about often. I’m heading to the Lake District this weekend and have borrowed a nice chunky Pentax 67 to photograph a Farmer’s fair. In my dream, I was exploring the mountains taking photographs that captured the most beautiful colors…. Here’s hoping it becomes a reality.
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