Jo Stapleton

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Jo Stapleton

Around 10 years ago, inspired by the novels of Jean Rhys – women down on their luck living in down at heal Paris hotels – I began what has become an evolving series called Dolls House Drama. Using initially dolls house models and furniture coupled with macro photography, I ventured in to the world of constructed realites photography. By working on a small scale, I was able to create my own environments to construct and capture photographic moments or stories. Using the quality of slow speed Adox film (CMS Art 25), and applying the techniques of theatre lighting but on a very small scale, my aim is to suggest movement, atmosphere and action.

Since the Dolls House Drama project I’ve continued to explore the small world of macro photography using plastic toys, animal and models to construct and tell stories.  As a photographer working in black and white – I've expanded my darkroom practice using alternative processes including lith and salt printing to give tone and presence to images. In the last 12 months I've made the leap to colour photography and colour printing – applying constructed realities techniques and approach to working with colour. In a current series – ‘small world – afraid of colour’, I’m working with Adox Colour Implosion film, shooting at low speed with intense lighting and vivid backdrops. 

Many of the models used for subjects are mass produced, cheap, disposable plastic toys and as such are lacking in detail. The purpose of the object is to often to create a surface level representation to be enhanced by the act and imagination of play. This very much mirrors my own approach to creating images, the flaws of the objects arising from mass production such as a raggedy piece of plastic or oversized limb, become points of interest and often add to the ‘story’.  Looking through the viewfinder, I often focus on one particular feature and seek to blur and make unreal the surroundings. 

(above text taken from London Independent Photogrpahy FLIP Magazine, Summer 2018 'How I see things – small world storytelling' Jo stapleton)

As a member of Shutterhub and London Independent Photography Network, I have exhibited work at Embassy Tea Gallery (London), Strand Photography Gallery (London) and in 2017 as part of the Retina International Photography Festival (Shutterhub Open Edinburgh). As a musician and film maker, I have performed work at venues across London and the South East including Netty House, Queen of Hoxton and Cowley Club (Brighton). I am currently exhibiting at ARB ('Artificial Things – Shutterhub/Art at the Alison Richards Building, Cambridge University – to 19 Jan 2018) Photofusion, Brixton (Photofusion 2017 Salon – to 13 Jan 2018) and From January 2018 at St Bride Foundation, London ('Borders' shutterhub and St Bride Foundation).

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