The first time Gemma Pepper realized she wanted to become a photographer she was stood on top of a mountain in Zakinthos in Greece.
Born in Hertfordshire and raised in Switzerland, Gemma grew up in a creative family, her Mother is a keen watercolour painter and late Grandfather a photographer and painter, she found herself encouraged to follow her dream of becoming a photographer. In 2010 she moved back to North Wales to study for a HND in photography, now approaching the end of her final year she chose to stage a solo show as part of her assessment, the result is ‘Space and Time’.
Inspired by the likes of Francesca Woodman, Ralph Eugene Meatyard and Duane Michals, Gemma’s work explores ideas of representation and the self, with portraits of young females and self portraits a prevalent theme. For this body of work Gemma sought inspiration from surrealism and traditional darkroom techniques, using a 35mm camera and long exposures she began to question the notions of time and space.
Having used an old Village Hall in Dolgarrog and an empty Hanger in Beaumaris for similar photo-shoots Gemma experimented with both Digital and Film [both 35mm and large format] working through ideas for her final project responding to the buildings features and the models relationship with the space. It was through sheer coincidence that Gemma found her biggest inspiration for the project in the shape of an empty Edwardian Pumping Station in Rhos-on-Sea, thanks to the support of estate agent Richard Baddeley she was able to use the building as the location for the end photo-shoot, using long exposures and blurred movements to evoke the constant changes that affect and shape our lives.
In 2011 Gemma achieved both first and second place in two Focal Press competitions, and is currently shortlisted for the ‘Art, Design and Media Student award 2012’.
‘Space and Time’ will be touring from May at ‘CASC artist studios and project space’ to Zurich, Switzerland in October 2012.
The exhibition is the first public exhibition to be held at ‘casc artist studios and project space’ an artist-run organisation consisting of artist studios and a project space, founded with the mission of supporting and promoting both emerging and established contemporary visual artists from North Wales and beyond, by providing affordable artist-run studios and an exhibition/project space. Key to the groups’ ethos is the development and sustainability of local, regional and international initiatives, promoting research and community outreach projects.
Gemma’s exhibition is the starting point for the group’s mission to help support and nurture upcoming talent, providing them not only with an exhibition space, but invaluable advice, guidance and a kickstart to their burgeoning artistic careers.
Written by Badgemakesart
Images copyright Gemma Pepper
Area – North Wales