Art Space: Photographs of RA Students and their Studios
Café Royal Academy of Arts : 16th June - 3rd August 2006
Burlington House Piccadilly London W1J OBD
Art Space marks the second in a series of photo-essays by Nick Cunard on contemporary creative environments. For the Head Space project [Freud Museum 2004] Nick turned his attention to the places in and around which the psychotherapeutic encounter occurred. Actively invading their personal space, in this scenario Nick focused his attention on the artists themselves as they made their work within the white-walled confines of their studios. Nick quickly became preoccupied with making images that played with the idea of the space itself as being an animate object with a particular character that exerted some kind of influence over the artists work and practise. In other words this became a narrative thread in the mind of the photographer providing him with the ‘words’ and ‘syntax’ to pass comment on the artist and their practise. Thus the photographer’s own status as an image maker is reflected back on itself as he makes pictures of other fellow image makers. Nick described his field status in this project as compared to Head Space in the following terms:
’In Head Space I was more clearly on the outside of things - being neither a therapist nor a client nor making the work during a session. In the Art Space scenario however, the boundaries between insider and outsider, participant and observer were much more confused. It was especially disconcerting to be working in these iconically ‘creative’ settings, making the encounter of the artists and their studios the subject of my own work, whilst they themselves were engaged in their own kind of creative activity – it brought a whole new meaning to the old adage that all art is to a greater or lesser degree a self-portrait.’
Art Space started life as a commission for the RA Magazine and was published in its Summer 2006 issue.