Rory Sheridan

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Lieu de vie White. Mosquito tent, piles of rubble, strobe lighting. Single-channel video on television. Running time: 06:12 minutes.

Rory Sheridan is currently studying a BA (Hons) in Photography at London College of Communication! We came across his work one afternoon after looking for a photographer who works across many styles, but has a focus… You can find Rory’s work on his website, as well as being featured on Twitter. So Rory, tell us a little about yourself as a creative and a wild fact about you that not many people know…

I would consider myself a fine art photographer with a range of photographic and art related interests. My practice varies in subject matter greatly, sometimes being political, abstract, theoretical, philosophically influenced or conceptual. My work also takes many forms, perhaps photographic, installation, moving image, text or sound.

Hmm, a wild fact, well I was born on the August Bank Holiday, so up until the age of about ten, I used to think that the thousands of people at Notting Hill Carnival were celebrating my birthday! Oh I was so wrong. 

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Homage to Nothing. 59:39 min musical performance. Set of headphones, stack of musical notation, 210 x 297mm, 2015.

What does it mean to perform for the camera? How was it writing this piece in collaboration with another person, did you naturally agree to the conclusion in the end? 

Writing this exhibition review was an amazing experience, allowing for self-expression and to take perhaps a subjective but also critical approach to the relationship between photography and performance in relation to the Tate exhibition. Arguably, if a human figure is the subject of a photograph then we are performing for the camera, the smile we fake, the pose we take, the move we make, unless captured in a completely candid way, the subject is performing for the camera.

The exhibition and collaborative process gave myself and the photographer I worked with to create this text, Georgia Nelson the chance for us to both be experimental in our writing style, whilst relaying what the exhibition was talking about but also stretching the boundaries of our independent thought, allowing ourselves the freedom to express our views about the works exhibition. Naturally, our views on the act of performing for the camera differed at some stages however, we both agreed that the camera is a poor method of documentation, because of the constraints of the frame, the image is consistency cropped and never able to show us the full extent of what is taking place, beyond the confines of the frame.

 

You’ve volunteered your services with local press before in your role ‘Volunteer Photographer’, which you are still working on right now. Talk us through that role and how you give back to Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice?

Working as a volunteer with the Hospice, I am invited to attend multiple fundraising events throughout the year and document the often fast-paced, action of the events taking place. Events led by the Fundraising Team range from Santa Dashes to Moonlit Walks with women in bunny ears to Mini Marathons, as well as a whole host of other events. It feels absolutely great to do something that I enjoy as well as give back to the Hospice, an organisation which played a crucial part in my family’s life, caring for close relatives.

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Colour Run 2016. Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice.

#excessive. Talk us through this project and how you personally see everyone else using hashtags within social media – is it a positive that we crave an audience and likes so badly?

#excessive demonstrates the fact that our use of hashtags is overly excessive, unconscious and that people who use social media use them to crave attention through the medium of likes.

Social media has given rise to every person in the world being able to have access to an audience. Whether that audience is knowingly conscious of what they are doing (posting, liking, commenting) is another matter. As social media gives us a platform to do what we want, to conform to what everyone else is doing, it’s only natural that we want a certain amount of attention from it. Think of it like this, you’re constantly standing on the stage at theatre but just 24 hours of the day, seven days a week. Hashtags, or multiple hashtags is what you unconsciously embark upon adding to your content to receive that added exposure; placing your image, text, and gif, whatever it may be, into a pool of other similar content. Well, that’s what it was originally designed for. But now is it just a tool to get you recognition through the medium of likes?

I personally think, and this is where the You Are Here team was coming from with the video, is that perhaps our excessive tendency to use hashtags is not a healthy addiction.

This is why the typewriter is such a crucial part of this work, with the developments of technology in the last ten years, it is so easy to erase however in the early years of the keyboard, this was not the case so it seems so unnatural to use the hash key so frequently on a typewriter. 

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#excessive. Single channel video performance, running time: 01:54 minutes. Typewriter, list of top 100 hashtags used on Instagram on A4 copy paper, 2016.

 

Take a look around your working space and chose three things that you would not be able to work without; what have you got?

Firstly, a mug on my coaster preferably filled with Earl Grey tea. Keeps the creative juices flowing somewhat. Secondly a printer; old school I know, but being able to print out things to read, look at things in physical form or photocopy something to annotate is just bliss, despite living in this paperless society. Finally my notebook; I could write notes down on my phone however I never seem to ever go back to them. Having my trusty art school black, Moleskin notebook in the bottom of my bag means that when I have that random thought on the bus, I can always write it down and will come back to it. Eventually.

  

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You Are Here / The Context -Issue Magazine, 2016

Where do you see yourself pushing your work, is there any projects that you’d like to try out before the end of your degree?

Increasingly throughout my degree, I have become much more engaged and thoughtful about the photographic and how it links to other art practice so, I’d like to use the remainder of my time studying to definitely be more experimental with photography but also expanding the possibilities of photography, delving into sculpture, moving image, installation perhaps. I’m also a keen writer and reader so if I can pluck up the motivation and get in the zone, I’d like to develop my writing and critical thinking, perhaps writing a book. I’d like to go out of university with a bang, literally or metaphorically, so perhaps an installation for my degree show piece?

 

Quick Round Questions!

Tea or Coffee? Tea, always and forever, it’s what gets me up in the morning after all!

Art or Photography? Before my degree I would have said just photography, but now it’s definitely art, in the broadest sense possible!

Computer or Type Writer? Computer.

Savoury or Sweet? Sweet. I’m partial to a slice of cake or two.

Work or Studying? Studying. I’m always keen to learn. Although, I can’t study if I don’t work. Balance is key.

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