Channel / 27 Jan 2021

Artist Interview: Jack Osborne

What originally fired your interest in photography? Are there any photographers you particularly admire?

My interest in photography began when I was a teenager using my dad's camera. I first started photographing nature and landscapes, and it wasn't until my A-level years I decided to shift my focus towards people. I’ve always had the desire to document the world around me and how I view it. One of my favourite photographers is Tyler Mitchell. I was lucky enough to hear him speak about his work a few weeks ago on webinar too. I love the dreamlike scenarios he creates and the sense of vulnerability his images hold.

What was the motivation behind your project?

The motivation of the project was sparked by the polarisation of today's media. For example, if we look at the language used on the build up to the EU referendum, it was a lot of ‘us’ versus ‘them’. We also see this in the very specific imagery used. In the diverse friendship group I made at university there was no ‘us’ versus ‘them’, only us. As a white man I see representations of myself in every area of visual culture, but it struck me that I did not see my friends shown in the same way. The fashion industry specifically being notorious for its lack of diversity. Therefore, by representing the diverse youth culture in Cardiff and placing it within both a fashion and political context, I was able to protest the disproportionately white representations.

In what ways has the pandemic affected your work as a photographer? How has it affected your approach / choice of subject?

The pandemic has completely changed the way I work and my subject. After using my sister as a model for a few shoots, I eventually turned the camera towards myself. It started as just trying to get a few nice images and to stay inspired, but it then developed to bodies of work. I used these bodies of work as a way to express myself, specifically my masculinity. By photographing myself I feel as though I have gained an insight to photography in that I did not have before.

What are your thoughts about being included in the Ffotogallery exhibition?

I am incredibly grateful and proud to be included in this exhibition. I think what I’m most

grateful for is the fact that my work can sit in the heart of the city that inspired it, and can continue to challenge the ideas of representations of race for those who get to view it. I'm also thrilled that Welsh photography is getting this recognition, and I'm honoured to have the work sit alongside the work of so many talented individuals

What are your hopes for Wales in 2021?

My hope for Wales in 2021 is healing. I hope that we can all continue to pull together in an

attempt to put this pandemic behind us, and look forward to a brighter future. I also hope that Black and ethnic minority communities can heal from the racial injustices that continue to happen throughout Wales and the rest of UK, and that we all make the collective effort to create a more equal society.