Discover this week’s curated picks by Emma Bowkett, Director of Photography at the FT Weekend Magazine, Francis Hodgson, Professor in the Culture of Photography, University of Brighton, Alona Pardo, Curator, Barbican Centre, and Helene Love-Allotey, Modern and Contemporary African Art Specialist, Bonhams. Scroll down for last week’s picks by Duncan Forbes, Director of Photography at the V&A, Marta Weiss, Senior Curator of Photographs at the V&A, Azu Nwagbogu, Director of the African Artists’ Foundation and Lagos Photo Festival, and art advisor Nick Campbell, Founder of Narcissus Arts and Campbell Art and Photo London Ambassador.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE FT WEEKEND MAGAZINE
Visiting the Discovery section at Photo London has become a highlight for me. Since 2017 it has been my go- to place to see new work and be introduced to artists from across the world. Former curator Tristan Lund, who skilfully curated the space from the start, once described "I’m looking for galleries to exhibit vision and integrity." Someone recently described it to me recently as the “golden section”. I feel I must agree.
The Discovery this year features some of my favourite artists and returning galleries, some of whom I have had the pleasure to work with, but in keeping with the theme, my selection shows only new artists I have discovered here in 2020. I find myself drawn to intimate narratives that explore family history; the ethereal quality of Alexia Fiasco fictional family album, the concept of absence and loss present in Sara Sallam’s moving work about her grandmother, and Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee’s longing to reconnect with her Chinese heritage through photographs and memories restaged.
While Candice Jewell’s wonderfully sculpted self-portraits subvert the gendered gaze, Liz Calvi’s cinematic mise-en-scenes provide a provocative critique of the constructed self. Thandiwe Muriu brings playful colour and energy to celebrate her story of Africa, female creativity and strength and Yannis Davy Guibinga, drawing from mythology, evokes a powerful portrait of Abuk- the first woman elevated to divine status.
I return often to the delicate early colour work of Yichia Liao, and the fabulous collage work of Nicolas Feldmeyer. Finally, Ingrid Weyland’s beautifully constructed landscapes display her personal relationship to nature and the devastating environmental damage caused by human intervention.