Lee Grant – Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘olivia arthur

Magnum’s New Girl on the Block

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The weather right now is miserable: cold, wet and pissing down with rain. Shouldn’t complain really, given that we are supposedly experiencing one of the worst droughts in history. But it doesn’t do much for motivation. It sure is soporific weather……… I just want to lie down and sleeeep……….

But not before sharing the work of one of Magnum‘s newest new nominees, English photographer, Olivia Arthur. Her website is packed with consistently strong images that belie her youthful 28 years (they’re getting younger and younger every year!). At 28 years of age she has collated an impressive portfolio of images that explore the politics between Eastern and Western cultures and the effect this has had on the emancipation of women. She focuses particularly on Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan. Here are a few teasers:

All images courtesy Olivia Arthur‘s website

I likey! Even more impressively she has managed to be fully self-funded (albeit with the help of several grants and awards) and as she discusses on the Magnum blog, this has allowed her a particular freedom whereby she has “had very few guidelines and conditions to follow. This freedom has been amazing for me because it has meant that I have been able to get right into it and let the work unfold as it goes along. It also means that it doesn’t necessarily fit into the regular format of photojournalistic stories, and it has not always been easy for me to get it seen.

I’m very pleased to see that Magnum is putting their money where their mouth is in terms of supporting new, emerging talent, men but increasingly women (though they still have a rather piss-poor gender balance). Last year’s round yielded the photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti whose work is quite sublime and for me this direction from such a key player as Magnum is good news. It’s important that agencies like Magnum make tangible, projects that have their roots in a bit of struggle and self-reliance. I think that this is especially true for women (particularly older women) who often miss important opportunities because of familial commitments and/or financial pressures. (Yes I harp on but I’m frustrated by what feels like a lack of opportunity in Australia when compared to abroad.)

I do believe however (if you happen to find yourself in this boat) that it is very important to keep struggling. Belief in the importance of what you do seems to me to be crucial to the possibility of future success. For every person out there that finds your work boring, there will be another who finds it amazing………. Mmmm, just read that back and I sound like a self-help manual for stumped artists! But I know, that some of you know, what I mean.

Anyways…….. I’ll leave you to ponder Olivia’s gorgeous photographs. It’s time now for my snooze.

Written by Lee Grant

July 7, 2008 at 5:49 pm