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Category: Research

Iain McKell Research and Response

In response to Iain McKell’s Sub Culture, I used my own film camera and documented today’s youth culture using black and white film to replicate McKell’s photographs. The photos show the similarities between the subcultures today and in the 1980s. McKell succeeds at capturing the raw, realism of the subcultures and the edge to fashion it inspired. After the development of the Punk era by Vivienne Westwood the ‘Skinhead’ culture was very much idealised and glamourised by the industry. The culture was highly commercialised by fashion brands due the rise in popularity after the discovery of McLaren and Westwood, which removed the patriotic meaning of the culture; which Iain McKell manages to capture in his ‘Sub Culture’ editorial.

Iain McKell, Sub Culture, 1980
Emily Mobbs, Response to Iain McKell, Brighton, England, 2021

Within my own research looking at the performative aspects of fashion, I started to study the performative aspects of livelihood; documenting people and their actions and what they wear whilst living their day to day lives. I attempted to mainly document the creative aspects of people’s lives which ended up consisting of curators such as musicians and tattoo artists. The hybrid of capturing these types of people and black and white film automatically added a raw edge to the my photography.

Iain McKell, Sub Culture, 1980
Emily Mobbs, Response to Iain McKell, Brighton, England, 2021    

Experimenting with documentary photography is an exploration of the boundary between capturing livelihood and exploiting people’s personal lifestyle. Sometimes when shooting strangers on the street I would ask if it was okay to take a photo or I would capture them from the back. The only issue with asking people for their photo is that they become more self aware which adds an awkwardness to the shot and doesn’t allow you to capture the candidness of the person or event.

Iain McKell, Sub Cultures, 1980
Emily Mobbs, Response to Iain McKell, Brighton, England, 2021
Iain McKell, Sub Culture, 1980
Emily Mobbs, Response to Iain McKell, Brighton, England, 2021
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Performative Spaces

Over the past few weeks I have accumulated a series of unedited images inspired by the work of photographer Jason Oddy. Oddy succeeds at capturing structural solidity and provoking emotions through the use of empty space. It expanded my research from the performance of human interaction to objects. I was fascinated by his minimalistic style and attempted to encapsulate it in my response to his photos. The next few photos presented are images taken by Jason Oddy followed by my response to the photos, by adapting and using the building I’m surrounded by in everyday life. My own images are currently unedited, as I hope to correlate them to Oddy’s work my precisely through post production in my sketchbook.

Jason Oddy, ‘The Village’ VI, Houari Boumediene University of Science and Technology, Bab Ezzouar, Algiers, 2013
Emily Mobbs, Back of Waterstones, Brigthon, England, 2021

Using Jason Oddy’s work as inspiration encouraged me to view my surroundings as more structural and I found myself hunting for the geometrics within buildings. It was a very mathematical form of photography and differed from human photography; it felt performative as I would look for spaces that I thought were emotive and carried a form of satisfaction, through the use of symmetry and shapes.

Jason Oddy, Neue Prora, Rügan Island, Germany, 2000
Emily Mobbs, Pelicanos, Brighton, England, 2021
Jason Oddy, Palace of Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 1999
Emily Mobbs, East Street, Brighton, England, 2021

I continued my experimentation on a trip to London and was able to elaborate on my response to Jason Oddy’s work as I was surround my a lot more extreme and large architecture. I found myself taking photos mainly of hallways and my perception of them was like a never ending hall of emptiness. I think empty was definitely the word I highlighted throughout this response as the meaning of the word duplicated from physical to emotive.

Jason Oddy, Corridor I, Mentouri University, Constantine, Algeria, 2013
Emily Mobbs, St Pancras Station, London, England, 2021
Jason Oddy, The Palace of Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 1999
Emily Mobbs, St Pancras Station, London, England 2021
Jason Oddy, Magnolia, Prophylactorium, Odessa, Ukraine, 1999
Emily Mobbs, Victoria line, London, England, 2021
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