Capturing the essence of the creative community

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Common Collection

Artsmill, Hebden Bridge

Photographer, Nic Chapman began looking through her Grandad’s photographs and slides when she was a child, writes Fiona Patterson.

She remembered there being boxes and boxes of them and being told stories about how he would make his family stand posing for ages while he got the shot right. His Photographs were wonderful and she loved them.

“I think this is where my love for photography started,” says Nic who exhibits her latest portraiture work Common Collection at Artsmill, Hebden Bridge.

“I am obsessed by faces and groups of people. I am currently working on and around six collections of photographs, mostly based around documenting people and the things they have in common.”

Nic, who runs a small photographic studio where she takes commissions for commercial work, began photographing for Common Collection in May 2017 wishing to document artists and creatives in the area she lives.

“I am inspired by the amount of creative people who are native to the area and also those who have moved here.

“I decided to collect as many as I could and create a portrait, photographing them in the same way, putting them all in the same position with the same light and giving them no direction to let their personalities come through in the photo.”

Thirteen years ago she started a similar project which remains incomplete.

“I noticed then how a small amount of water on people’s faces enhanced features, their eyes mostly, and magnified tiny parts of their skin.

“It was a simple idea which I photographed on 35mm film.

“I liked the way it looked and enjoyed capturing my subjects’ reaction to the water.

“The people in my photographs have the need to create, to make things, sounds, pictures, films, movement and words in common.

“I wanted to reflect the impact the creativity of these people have on me in my work, so I collected them in one imposing portrait.”

A preview of Common Collection takes place at Artsmill this Sunday (August 26) from 2pm-4pm.

The exhibition will be on show until September 2.