Takeover: Gemma Padley

This week we are fortunate to have Gemma Padley taking over the OD account. Sharing some of her favourite all time photographic prints but also some of her highlights from our current online exhibition, HOME

Hello, I’m Gemma Padley, a writer and editor on photography. I’ve been writing professionally about photography for about 13 years. Past and present clients include Laurence King Publishing, White Lion Publishing, Hoxton Mini Press, British Journal of Photography, Elephant, AnOthermag.com, the RPS Journal, Foam, IMA, Magnum Photos, Self Publish, Be Happy, Photomonitor and 1000 Words magazine. I’m currently working on two photography books due for release in 2021. From Above: The Story of Aerial Photography, which I co-authored with Eamonn McCabe, was published in October 2019 by Laurence King Publishing (@laurencekingpub). Over the next few days I’ll be sharing my standout images from the recent Home online exhibition and work by photographers who I admire and have had the pleasure of working with. Thank you for having me!

writer and editor
Gemma Padley

When looking through the HOME exhibition images, this photograph by Andy Feltham (@andyfelthamphotography) immediately caught my eye. I love the suggestion of something beyond – a glimpse – and how the composition draws you in: we want to know what’s outside. Something about its sparseness – the minimalism – appeals too, and soft, dreamlike colour palette; somehow it all adds up to an image full of promise. Particularly at this time, as the world tentatively begins to open up again, we can read Andy Feltham’s image as a metaphor for hope and new beginnings. 

Torquay 5
by Andy Feltham

Maybe it’s because I have a little person too but Robin Friend’s (@robinfriendstudio) image resonated deeply with me. During lockdown there has been even more make-believe in our home than normal as we endeavoured to turn our house into a playground. Like the children here, we looked at the sunlight as it danced on our walls and made shadow shapes with toys and our hands. It’s nice to be reminded how the simplest things can be magical – that there is magic in the everyday if you look for it. 

With Sorrow Snare 6
by Robin Friend 

The colours in Barima Owusu-Nyantekyi’s (@barima.co) series Discontinuation, which the photographer describes as a ‘meditation on the changes to some of my happiest memories’, struck me first – the rich reds, deep midnight blues and bright, hot oranges – and the use of shadows too. These images are full of atmosphere. I love the way Barima Owusu-Nyantekyi also plays with what’s seen and not seen – in particular, the little girl’s face is difficult to make out and a figure walks away from us – adding to the sense of mystery. 

Discontinuation
Barima Owusu-Nyantekyi

When our world shrinks, it can paradoxically become larger than ever, as Dariana Chemodurova (@dchema)’s Thumbelina’20 series suggests. Flowers loom large in these evocative, ethereal images and are entwined with figures in beautiful ways. I love how nature and the body are brought together in the same space – a powerful combination. 

Thumbelina’20
by Dariana Chemodurova

I love the colours of this image, its warmth, and almost exotic feel. Its ambiguity and playfulness also make it for me. It is in essence just a woman’s legs (the photographer’s) with apricots, but at the same time it’s so much more – something about it resonates. I love how Alessia Morellini (@zucchinasty) has framed the image so that we home in on the detail of the apricots against flesh, and the combination of shapes, lines and curves are lovely. It’s one of those images you can’t really explain or describe though, and to do so takes away from it somehow so I think I’ll leave it there! 

Untitled 3
Alessia Morellini 

During lockdown, our fridge has gone through various phases of being chock-full to near-empty, home to forgotten food stuffs that are gradually morphing into mini worlds of their own, and a place of unexpected delights – ‘hooray! A fresh tomato!’ I love Vicente Manssur’s (@vicer_) image not only for its simplicity and composition but because it so brilliantly taps into the role/s of food during lockdown. From rash panic buying and hoarding, to comfort eating, using up odds and ends, cooking in the community and restaurants switching to takeout offerings, our relationship with food – how we buy, prepare and consume food – has undergone many changes. As we come out of lockdown it will be interesting to see what sticks.

What’s Left
Vicente Manssur

Be sure to follow the rest of Gemma’s takeover over on @odtakeovers
Featuring some of her all time favourites.

To see more from the HOME exhibition, see here
Prints are available from £80
£10 from every sale goes to mental health charity Mind.
50% of every sale goes to the artist

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