Brian Sherwin: Kate, I understand that you studied photography at Falmouth College of Arts in Cornwall. Can you tell us about that experience?
Kate Peters: My three years at Falmouth were great. The course really helped me to develop my work. It was a very free environment and one that promoted photography as an art form.
BS: Since graduating you moved to London where you have been assisting the photographer Nadav Kander while working on your own projects and commissions. How has Nadav influenced you as a mentor?
KP: My job as Nadav's assistant has been fantastic, an amazing opportunity that has allowed me to learn from one of the leading figures working in photography today and see quite a bit of the world along the way. Aside from the obvious enjoyment in working alongside someone so talented and being in contact with amazing images on a daily basis Nadav is an extremely driven individual he is constantly questioning and won't stop pushing himself until he feels completely satisfied. This has been a real inspiration in terms of how I approach my own work.
Bulbs by Kate Peters
BS: You have had some success in recent years. For example, you won the Creative Futures Award for your work in 2005 and the Magenta Foundation, Flash Forward Award in 2007. What do you enjoy about competition?
KP: I wouldn't say that enjoy is the right word, but there is a sense of achievement felt if a piece is selected. It is also invaluable in terms of self promotion and getting work seen by different audiences. You never know what might happen, so I always think it's worth giving things a go.
BS: Do you have an emotional connection to your work? Or are you more connected to the process? Is the finished photograph nothing more than a reflection of the process that interested you... or is it the unification of that process and the emotion, methods, and techniques that you utilized?
KP: I think on a certain level I do have an emotional connection to my work, which will be linked to the idea or often to what I felt whilst producing the images. I am very rooted in reality in terms of what I respond to and I work around themes that are related to or allude to human experiences. I try to make work that the viewer will be able to respond to emotionally.
BS: When I view your work it seems to have a haunting quality about it-- as if the past is calling out to the present. Your work- based on what I've viewed --is void of people... yet the the spaces and places you capture have a personality of their own. What do you think of my interpretation of your work? Perhaps you can tell us about the motives behind your photography....
KP: I think your observation that the past is calling out to the present is an accurate interpretation. I love things with a history, how an object, place or person becomes embedded with the experiences they have bared witness to. By choosing to photograph them you can attempt to draw out some of their past.
BS: Kate, when you are behind the camera do you view yourself as if you are on the outside looking in or in the inside looking out? I suppose this is a philosophical question... do you have a personal philosophy behind your work?
KP: That is a difficult question to answer because although I become very close to my work I think that the sort of photographs I take, take being the appropriate word, situate me on the outside. I approach the subjects I photograph like a collector, trying to find images that will show what I want to them to show. In terms of articulating my philosophy...I think that I am always trying to inspire an emotional response and if I achieve that for myself then I'm happy.
BS: When photographers are interviewed they are often asked about the equipment that they use. Some feel that this focus on equipment undermines the work that is created-- it is as if the interviewer is suggesting that the camera of choice is more important that the vision of the photographers work. Do you find that to be an offensive question to ask? After-all, painters are rarely asked what kind of brushes they use and I don't think a sculptor has ever been asked what kind of sponges he or she uses to wet down clay. Do you view your camera like a painter views his or her brush? Is it just a tool of creation... or do you find that it is important to discuss the camera used and technology involved?
KP: In terms of my own practice the camera is a tool that enables me to create work, I choose the camera that is most suited to each project. It doesn't seem important to discuss it and is not something I think about when looking at other peoples work.
BS: What are you working on at this time? Will you be involved in any exhibits in 2008?
KP: I'm currently working on a project with a missing persons organisation photographing objects that belong to the missing and that families have kept. It is still very much in the early stages, i'll keep you posted.
BS: Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about your art?
KP: Thanks for looking!
You can learn more about Kate Peters by visiting her website at-- www.katepeters.co.uk. Kate can also be found on myartspace-- www.myartspace.com/katepeters. You can read more of my interviews at-- www.myartspace.com/interviews.
Take care, Stay true,