An Interview With: Anne Wyman
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
My name is Anne and I just graduated from BA(hons) Photography at Leeds College of Art. My photographic style is quite minimal and I tend to shoot on 35mm film. As well as photography, I am interested in curation and arts events - involving the public in art is something I have a growing passion about.
What would be a short description of your project?
This work explores the issues surrounding the lack of plants within urban spaces using the placement of plants to help people visualise how nature could enhance the urban environment. Concrete buildings and high-rise towers can become overwhelming with a constant repetition of shapes and colours; these photographs document the intervention in this visual 'take over' with the photographer introducing plants in unexpected places.
Who/what was your main inspiration for this project?
I follow quite a few cool pages on Instagram that follow a minimalist style. I love this aesthetic, it really inspires the way I photograph things. More specifically I like Minimal Zine and Paper Journal Mag. When looking at research for this particular project I also came across a page on Instagram called 'Plants on Pink' which I think is fantastic. When I was then looking at individual photographers, I looked at my all time favourite photographer Yoshinori Mizutani, especially his book 'Colours'. Another big inspiration was Michael Wolf's project 'Hong Kong Flora' as it follows a similar theme and he photographed the concept really successfully.
Your images lack vibrant colours, yet some images use small amounts excluding the plants. What is the reason for this?
This is something that happened subconsciously. I think the main reason this happened is the way I look for a space to photograph and what attracts me to these spaces. I like bold shapes and colours therefore I am drawn to pops of bright, unexpected colour - so the majority of my images contain this aesthetic.
How did you choose your locations?
As I said in the previous answer, there is a certain aesthetic I am drawn to. My photographs tend to be quite minimal and I like shapes that create a clean composition. So in short, I simply wandered around Leeds with my plants looking for locations that caught my eye. Then when I liked the look of a location I would take a quick photograph to see if I liked the composition, and if I did I would start setting up the image.
How/why did you come to the decision on using tape on the plants?
I tried various methods of presenting my idea photographically from stickers to collages, but decided I wanted to put real plants into the spaces. Using real plants makes the concept come through stronger. So I started placing the plants in the spaces. This didn't look quite right and my tutors told me that it looked like I was photographing a plant, left there by someone else. I wanted the project to be an intervention with the urban environment so tape seemed like a logical way forward. It looked more forceful and more of a statement and it worked.
What do you want the viewer to gain from the project?
I want the viewer to realise that cities and heavily urban environments could really benefit from nature. I want people to see that a space is just 100 times better when greenery is involved.
What are your plans for the future?
Currently, I plan to study a Masters degree in a year's time and get more experience within different areas until then. I am interested in a career in arts events and exhibitions so am pursuing this. My photographic projects will definitely continue alongside this!
What is the best piece of advice you could give a student of photography?
I think the student needs to get out there and carry a camera with them everywhere they go! I did not follow this piece of advice and there were too many occasions where I thought 'that would be a great photograph' but couldn't take one. These missed opportunities could have turned into great projects!
All images copyright of Anne Wyman.