Observations on Contemporary Life - Rachel E Joy Stanley
Rachel E Joy Stanley is a fine-art photographer based in London. A recent Goldsmiths graduate, her work is about people — how they create and occupy spaces, and the traces they leave behind. Rachel's photographs are largely observational and attempt to organise and make sense of contemporary life, asking questions about power, ownership and the balance between natural and human worlds.
F&A: How did you get into photography?
RS: I became interested in photography through looking at magazines, as I was very interested in fashion when I was younger and used to love gathering big piles of them. The biggest landmark regarding the act of taking pictures was my auntie giving me her old film SLR. From then I started properly learning how to use a camera, taking it everywhere with me and spending my pocket money on getting the pictures developed. I also studied it at school and then as part of my university course.
F&A: Who or what inspires you the most?
RS: I take the best photographs when I'm in a new place, so probably most the most inspiring thing for me is being somewhere I've never visited before. Photographically, my biggest inspiration is Wolfgang Tillmans; others I take influence from include Mark Borthwick, Ryan McGinley, Siân Davey, Corinne Day, Harley Weir and Lina Scheynius. My boyfriend always inspires me and keeps me going when I'm in a creative rut.
F&A: What does creativity mean to you?
RS: Living a creative life is all I care about.
F&A: What are your plans now that you have graduated?
RS: I currently work as an assistant for a handful of photographers; I am also preparing for a group show in London in which I will be exhibiting work alongside a painter and sculptor. In the future I’d like to study a postgraduate degree in fine art or photography, as I have never been to art school and I would really like to.