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The Chinatown Experiment has invited back guest curator Becky Philpott for a photography exhibit featuring the work of four local artists with all pieces under $200. We caught up with Becky to learn more about the upcoming exhibit, and chat about her passion for curating, Vancouver’s photography scene, and the last photo she took. This must be the place is one-night only exhibit on April 29 starting 6:30 p.m. at Chinatown Experiment on 434 Columbia St. Get there early, the pieces at this show will sell out.
Hi Becky, this is the second photography show you are curating at Chinatown Experiment. Tell us about how you got started in photography?
I was given a blue plastic Fuji film camera for my 10th birthday and I’ve been taking photos ever since. I studied Photography at the University of Brighton in England and then went onto intern for the photographic cooperative, Magnum Photos. While interning there I met Steve McCurry who hired me as his International Exhibition Coordinator in New York. I organized and curated his first Irish solo show in Dublin back in 2011. From that moment on I’ve had the curating bug.
What drives you to curate photography as opposed to creating it?
I still love creating photographs, but I equally love looking at other peoples’. It’s something I probably spend most of my time doing; maybe a little too much time! When I look at another photographer’s work I wonder why they paired their photos a certain way, or put them in a particular order. The arrangement of images can really make or break a photo series. It can change the whole feeling of a body of work. I guess the fact that I am constantly curating other people’s work in my head makes me want to take a stab at in the real world.
What inspired the theme of this upcoming exhibition?
I decided to leave this show as an open theme.
I’ve participated in group shows in the past that had a particular theme and it’s great because it makes you really sit down and think about what you have in your archives that might be a good fit, or it forces you to create something especially for that particular show. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to have free reign to submit something that you’ve always wanted to but never had a reason to, or to just create some work for the sake of it.
Tell us about the photographers you selected for this show.
The photographers for this show are all locals but come from very different backgrounds.
Sophia Ahamed is an accomplished Creative Director and Visual Artist. Her primary medium isn’t photography but lately she has been posting some new work that incorporates photographs. The work she has included in the show ads a non-traditional element; a lovely addition and a break from the norm.
I am drawn to Ryan Walter Wagner’s work because of his ease at capturing every day candid moments. He has been published in Carte Blanche and Discorder to name a few. His name will ring quite a few bells.
Andrew Querner is a highly accomplished documentary photographer. His work has been featured in the Telegraph Magazine, Monocle, and Time. In 2013, he was named as a PDN 30 New & Emerging Photographer. I was really delighted when he decided to get involved with the show.
Andy Grellmann’s perfectly exposed images really capture the essence of the West Coast and I think that is why so many people are drawn to his work. He’s also an all round nice guy, very active in the Vancouver photography community, and is really supportive of other photographers in the city.
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