kitchen experiments by nikki compson

Graduates 2017: Nikki Compson

Photographic artist Nikki has already made a name for herself with her ongoing project Women Belong in the Kitchen – and her grad show will be a foodie installation.

Hi Nikki – tell us a bit about your work

“Well my passions are photography and food. I’ve spent five years working as a chef and my current practice is an exploration into kitchen experiments and how this can be represented through camera-less techniques. My project ‘Women Belong in the Kitchen‘ looks at women working in kitchens and explores the lack of female chefs in professional kitchens. It looks at gender issues and the reasons why we are lacking female chefs.”

I’ve had two exhibitions in Brighton, at Gallery 40 and as part of Brighton Photo Fringe 2016 at Nick Ford Photography Studio. I’ve also done teaching, working for the National Citizen Service, teaching photography to 15-17 year olds and facilitating workshops with community partners.”

What are you showing at the Brighton Grad Show 2017?

“I am doing an interactive installation piece called ‘The Art of Cooking’. This will feature a selection of my food photograms on a screen, kitchen audio recordings and tactile prints for the audience to examine. I’m want the audience to be immersed in the work, to replicate my experience of experimenting with food in the darkroom.

I’m currently applying for funding to put on a show in London of my ‘Women Belong in the Kitchen’ work, which will be a three wall projection featuring audio conversations from the chefs I met.”

What are your thoughts on Brighton’s Photography BA(Hons) now you’re about to graduate?

“I really, really love the course. I’ve been course rep for last two years. I came at it from an art point of view, having done painting on foundation. Then I was seduced by how photography was influenced by painting and thought “I love photography”.

It was a toss up between Brighton and Edinburgh for me. At Brighton they teach you the technical stuff so you do learn the basics, but they let you do what you want in a fine art space. I liked the size of the course, you can know your fellow students and it’s like having your own studio. The technicians are so helpful. A lot of people have tried new stuff in the third year, you are always able to explore new methods.”

What are you post-university plans?

“I’m hoping to continue the NCS youth work in London and teach with them – but I also just want to explore where my cheffing and photography can take me.”

Where can we see more?

Nikki Compson Instagram

My website

Women Belong in the Kitchen Instagram

2017 Photography graduates’ Instagram

Article in Tease and Totes

Find out more about our BA(Hons) Photography course here

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