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1854’s FastTrack programme stimulates unsigned talent in the commercial world. Here, three winners talk about their practices, reflecting on teamwork, learning from new mediums, and the possibility for new queer photography
George Mcleod fell in love with picture taking when he was sixteen while studying the medium at A-level. Soon after, this individual built a darkroom in his father’s attic and hasn’t stopped since. “I feel always looking for compositions, ” he explains. “I have an internal camera frame that I can’t turn off. Even when I am not shooting, I’m generally looking for the right balance. ”
Mcleod is one of the 18 professional photographers selected for the second release of 1854’s Fast Track programme. A global jury chose the artists to represent the best unsigned talent working in the industry nowadays. Talent representation organisations, offer agencies and brands will certainly champion the photographers, in whose work will also be showcased in the special booth at LE BOOK Connections Europe plus via 1854’s own worldwide network.
Mcleod’s style is bold, vibrant and pristine. “A lot of our ideas come to me whilst I’m walking in the street, ” he explains. In his individual project Ignition – a three-part series – the photographer captures the sculptural form of flames, making still-images that allude to organic shapes such as flowers, atmosphere and water. In his commercial work, he has “slowly built a small team of people” who help him provide creative briefs. “When creating commissioned works, my driving principle is always ‘would We hang this on our wall? ’” Mcleod says. “No matter what I’m shooting, it has my name connected, and it’s an opportunity to make something beautiful. ”
“As soon as I began, the darkroom became my house, ” says Aviya Wyse, another of the Fast Track selectees. Born in 1988 in Haifa, Israel to Uk parents, Wyse didn’t discover photography until she has been 20 following the passing associated with her mother. “I’m thinking about photographing women, which directly links to me losing our mother. The dark space became my home, plus I’ve never wanted to be anywhere else. ”
Wyse has been creating an ongoing series of pictures for over a decade, exploring the particular boundaries between life plus death. The project has become an archive of womanhood. “I search for women just about everywhere, ” she says. “I am drawn to the power that comes from each person: their untold story, their presence, how they move. ”
Wyse channels impulsiveness in her work, like she “constantly falls in love” with both subject plus space. This approach lends itself to the girl commercial work. “I know I can break new ground in the commercial sphere, ” the girl reflects. “I would like to provide diversity and real people to the spotlight. I feel both my commercial and personal work are completely connected. I bring the same energy plus power to both. ”
In the meantime, Hidhir Badaruddin, who is initially from Singapore and now based in London, has focused on Oriental masculinity and queer existence in his work, specifically his series Younglawa , which was also their final project while studying at the London College of Fashion. ‘Younglawa’ is a play on English and Malayan words. “Both languages are usually native to me. ‘Young’ implies youth and ‘lawa’, translates to ‘(someone) that is beautiful’ or ‘the beautiful, ” he or she explains. “I hope [the work] sparks the dialogue about Asian masculinity today, ” he gives. With a deeply intimate and gentle approach, Badaruddin’s analog images present queer lifetime.
“I hope that will through my work, I could champion more diversity, like the representation of LGBTQ+ and BAME communities. Ultimately, my goal is for my work to reach a wider audience, ” he explains.