Small Things at Sixty Seven A

Amy Gwatkin and three of her university friends present their photographs in a East End group show

Bella Fenning

The group show featuring Amy Gwatkin, Anna Leader, Annie Collinge and Bella Fenning launches at Sixty Seven A Gallery on Dalston Lane this Thursday, 4th November. The four university friends team up to show a cross-section of wholly individual images focusing on differing forms of photography. Bella Fenning's works of film and photography combine Landscape, Interiors and Portraiture; Her films have been shown at events like The London Short Film Festival at the ICA and was commissioned by Branchage Film Festival at Stag and Dagger in Shoreditch. 

Annie Collinge presents portraits of American teenagers taken at a comic convention in New York, focusing on their faces rather than the full costumes, whilst Anna Leader's pieces for 'Small Things' include a prism refracting light into its basic components is explored, and documents of basic ‘DIY' science experiment. Dazed speak to our sometime collaborator Amy Gwatkin whose black and white prints of naked men smoking cigarettes present a stage on which fantasies are played out. 

Dazed Digital: Do you know a lot about the other photographers showing? What connects the four photographers in the show?
Amy Gwatkin: Anna, Bella, Annie and I were all at Brighton Uni together. We're friends, and three of us share a studio - it's interesting to see how our work has progressed since we met ten years ago, and how different our work is from each others! We thought it would be fun to bring the four of us together for a group show. 

DD: Why the name 'Small Things' and what is the concept behind the group show?
Amy Gwatkin: I think we've all interpreted the concept of "Small Things" in a different way - in a sense, firstly, it's practical. SixtySevenA is a small gallery space attached to our studios. We decided to use those physical parameters as a jumping off point - and set a maximum size for the images. Other than that we allowed ourselves freedom to interpret 'Small Things'. One of the interesting effects of making smaller scale work, is that it forces the viewer to come closer, encouraging a more detailed, concentrated appraisal. It's a way of making us look at the little things;the obsessions, the details - as Annie said of her portraits of girl geeks, she  "..sidestepp[ed] the temptation to photograph them at full length in their homemade costumes,  instead choosing to focus on their faces." 

DD: What was your latest photography project about?
Amy Gwatkin: My contribution to the show is called "Nothing Happened". Basically, it's lots of small prints of naked men smoking. I cast some of my friends, and also strangers from the internet. I noticed that two of my photographic obsessions were naked men, and smoking; I'm not actually a smoking fetishist, I just never got past the point of thinking it looked amazing. I've put the two things together, as seems logical, with multiple models, and then multiple prints of each picture. I like the idea of it being a sort of survey, or census. The repetition of the theme attracts me. Going back to the same subject over and over again to see if it becomes any clearer why this is something I want to do. And at the moment... the answer is no. But that doesn’t matter.

SixtySevenA, City Studios, 67a Dalston Lane, London E8 2NG5 – 28th November 2010. Wed – Sat 1pm – 6 pm or by appointment 

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