Over the next four days, Lenscratch will be sharing a few curatorial, collaborative projects. Today, I am pleased to share a project I have personally been apart of. Stuart Pilkington is known throughout the community for bringing photographers of all kinds together. From fine artists to editorial photographers, his projects are designed to showcase various images revolving around a singular prompt. Not only are they fun pitstops for everyday online browsing, but they have become useful tools, cataloging photographers and their various genres, styles, and subjects.
The Swap is Stuart’s most recent project, which asks two photographers to turn their cameras towards one another. These captivating portraits are layered between artistic aesthetic and a collaborative direction. What I love the most about the project is how the portraits perform together revealing the relationship between the two photographers. Lovers, friends, colleagues, even strangers, there are clear levels of comfort and connection.
Stuart Pilkington is a semi professional photographer from the North West of England. In 2008 he created his first project called The Alphabet Project in order to work in collaboration with other photographers and also to help improve his own skills. By the time he curated his third project, The 50 States Project, he decided that he would no longer participate in them as a photographer and just concentrate on being a curator and bringing talented people together to work with one another. Stuart believes that photography can be a solitary activity and although this has it’s advantages people also like to work as part of a larger collective to support and inspire one another. Latterly his projects have concentrated on the portrait as this is Stuart’s main love when it comes to the art form. His latest project The Swap is ongoing and will possibly run to the end of 2015.
The Swap kicked off in August 2013 and every three days a new set of portraits are published on the site. The brief to participating photographers is to partner up another photographer, either someone they know or someone they have never worked with before, and to simply take each other’s portrait. The idea is to showcase each artists ability and technique and to inspire fresh, new work. They can be as elaborate or as simple as they want to be in their approach. The hope is to have enough exciting images by the end of the project to be able to approach galleries and curate a physical exhibition in the UK.
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