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Nick Ballón

location: UK

Nick Ballon’s (b.1976) journalistic sensibility is at the heart of his photographic practise. He has a way of discovering those little ticks or details about a place, person or situation that others miss. Everything centres around his limitless curiosity. With each project he invests hours into research and development. Studying and hunting for nuances and irreverent details that allow him to forge a new route into a particular subject.

Nick’s best work occupies a state of limbo. Layers of contradictions equally intrigue and seduce the viewer and things are often not what they seem on the surface. He is interested in the moments that sit halfway between real and constructed. His compositions are graphic but retain warmth, while an uplifting colour palette illuminates an often mysterious or dark subject matter.

Nick is a master observationalist, seeking out the moment of commitment when the searching, waiting and patience all come together. The work is quiet, yet attentive. Applying a sophisticated and sensitive approach to storytelling which unifies a diverse range of subjects. Ballon’s practise defies categorisation. His portfolio is a collision of subjects from the worlds of politics, art, science, history, sport and popular culture.

For the last decade Nick’s personal work has focused exclusively on his Anglo-Bolivian heritage, exploring socio-historical ideas of identity and place, with a particular focus on the concept of ‘foreignness’ and belonging. This work began at an auspicious time for both parties. Having grown up in the U.K, Nick began to unravel his heritage through annual trips to the country, discovering and observing through the people and communities he encountered. At the same time, Bolivia was at a point of flux. The impact of globalisation, the growing middle class and the sudden accessibility of technology resulted in a rapid information evolution. All of a sudden people could look outwards. While people embraced their indigenous culture, they began to be massively influenced by the west. It was a dynamic period of change and a poignant time of discovery for the photographer.

The work has started to build a collective narrative of a country often forgotten. Projects have included Ezekiel 36:36, a curious exploration of Bolivia’s national airline, the spectacle of open-air wrestling in ‘Viva Las Luchadoras!’ and most recently ‘The Bitter Sea’, which looks at land-locked Bolivia, and its painful longing to reclaim back it’s sea lost in a war to Chile over 129 years ago. - By Gem Fletcher

︎ // website 

Yael BC

location: Iceland

Yael BC is an Iceland-based photographer specializing in portraits, conceptual art, fashion, and advertising.
Yael completed her degree at Bezalel Art and Design Academy as a fine art photographer in 2014 and is a member of Físl - The Icelandic Contemporary Photography Association.

Her work revolves around the delicate fusion of reality, memory, and imagination, blurring boundaries between these realms. Yael strives to craft narratives that delve into multifaceted dimensions. Her explorations encompass the intricate tapestry of identity, diversity, and the profound connection between humans, nature, and animals.

Through intentional compositions of her subjects in natural environments, Yael fosters a deeper understanding of our connection to the environment and emphasizes the vital importance of its preservation. Her photography strives to strike a nuanced balance between realism and abstraction while advocating for empathy and the ethical treatment of all living beings.

Surreal elements play a significant role in Yael's artistic vision, allowing her to merge familiar aspects of life with hidden depths and alternative perspectives. By disrupting the confines of familiarity, she challenges conventional notions of normality, inviting viewers to contemplate new possibilities and explore the complexities that lie beneath the surface.

︎ // website

David Maisel

location: San Francisco, CA, US

David Maisel (b. 1961, New York) is an artist working in photography and video, and the recipient of a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts. Among his chief concerns are the politics and aesthetics of radically human-altered environments, and how we perceive our place in time via investigations of cultural artefacts from both past and present. His work focuses on power and the production of space by examining landscapes and objects that are off-limits, quarantined, or hidden from view.

Maisel received his BA from Princeton University, and his MFA from California College of the Arts, in addition to study at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

︎ // website

Thandiwe Muriu

location: Nairobi, Kenya

Thandiwe Muriu's work takes you on a colourful, reflective journey through her world as a woman living in modern Kenya, as she reinterprets contemporary African portraiture, and presents a bold new vision of a woman and her autonomy. Creating surreal illusions that are not digital manipulations but rather pure photography, she confronts issues surrounding identity and self-perception while seeking to redefine female empowerment through the application of her choice of materials, such as fabric and common household items. Her work is marked by precision and intentionality from the conception of a piece through to its final printed form.

Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Thandiwe discovered photography at age 14, experimenting with her fathers old Nikon camera. Self-taught, she immersed herself in books and video tutorials, learning from every resource she could find, as Kenya did not have any formal photography schools. By age 17, she was working professionally, and by 23 had shot her first solo advertising campaign. By 2019, she was photographing campaigns for some of the largest companies in East Africa.

As the sole woman operating in the male-dominated advertising photography industry in Kenya, Thandiwe repeatedly confronted questions around the role of women in society, the place of tradition, and her own self-perception. These experiences inspired her first work, the Camo series, a project of cultural reflection. Camo was the catalyst for her to push new boundaries in her photography, leading her into a deeply personal artistic journey.

Since the start of her artistic career in 2020, Thandiwe’s works have been acquired by numerous public and private collections. She has been commissioned to create works for Apple, the United Nations, Lavazza and Swiss Red Cross among others. Thandiwe opened her first solo-show in Paris in October 2023. This year, she launches her book, Camo, and will be showing at the collateral event of the Venice Biennale, Passengers In Transit, presented by the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA Lagos). 

︎ // website

Lauren Greenfield

location: Los Angeles, US

Greenfield is an American artist, documentary photographer, and documentary filmmaker. She has published three photographic monographs, directed four documentary films, exhibited in museums, and published in magazines and other publications.

In January 2016, Greenfield was honored by the International Center for Photography with the "2016 Spotlights Awards" (annual award honoring female artist in visual arts using photography or film). In December 2015, Greenfield was named the "Most Awarded Director in 2015" by AdAge for her work on #likeagirl. In July 2015, Greenfield was named one of the top 10 directors in Adweek’s Most Creative 100 People of 2015. In September 2015, she won the Emmy Award Best TV Commercial for #likeagirl. In January 2012, Greenfield was awarded the Sundance Film Festival Directing Award, US Documentary 2012 for her feature documentary film, The Queen of Versailles. She has been honored three times by American PHOTO magazine, starting with being named one of five "Breakthrough Artists" in the July/August 1995 issue. In 2003, American PHOTO magazine named her one of the "The 25 Most Important Photographers Now". In April 2005, she shared the third spot of the "100 Most Important People in Photography", again in American Photo magazine. She has been twice nominated for the Best Director Award by the DGA (Directors Guild of America) for Documentaries in 2012 and for commercials in 2015. She has received many photography awards and grants, including the Art Directors Club Gold Cube for Photography, National Geographic Grant, the ICP Infinity Award for Young Photographer (1996), a Hasselblad Foundation Grant, the NPPA Community Awareness Award, and the People's Choice Award at the Moscow Biennial.


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