PROJECT FOCUS: My Postcards from Great Britain – Matthew Dever

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© Matthew Dever

Postcards from Great Britain is a largescale project from Shutter Hub, inviting photographers to share their visions of British culture through photographic images to create conversations and exchange.

Pop-up exhibitions are being organised in locations across Europe, with related events, showcasing thousands of postcard-sized images. Every single image which is submitted to Postcards from Great Britain will become part of an archive catalogue, to be housed in libraries and archives around the world, and 100 images will be selected for a collectable postcard set.

In a significant time in European history this project sets out to document and share aspects of British culture, spanning all genres of photography, and collating images which include social, political, historical, traditional and observational responses.

 

For this Postcards from Great Britain feature we asked photographer Matthew Dever to tell us more about the photographs that he submitted and why. Matthew has worked on PR stories in education and cultural history, and has been published internationally. As part of his degree he read sociology and social policy, and he now uses a sociological perspective to research influence on beliefs and behaviours; specifically, collective behaviour, and the relationship between individuals and society – this is very evident in his photographs…

 

© Matthew Dever

© Matthew Dever

© Matthew Dever

Photography can be presented in a variety of ways, outside of the traditional photographic print, and I think it’s really interesting to do that. In my work, I find that I’m starting to explore cost-effective, bigger-scale options more; I think it frees the work to be able to resonate ideas, thoughts more directly.

I really love Shutter Hub’s continued collaboration with the Newspaper Club in using tabloid newsprint and now the collaboration with Fujifilm to exhibit postcards, particularly the idea that potentially thousands can be shown at one time and that they will be held as a permanent collection at institutions like the University of Cambridge Library.

I’ve selected individual photographs or sometimes two or three that stand well together, from long-term projects that are ongoing.

 

© Matthew Dever

© Matthew Dever

I studied some sociology and social policy so I’m keen to use academic research as an influence but I wanted to be a painter actually; I’m influenced by Van Gogh, Francis Bacon, David Hockney and I grew up in the YBA period so Sarah Lucas, Gary Hume and Damien Hurst too.

I never really considered photography until being introduced to film and then getting obsessed by it for a period of a few years and so came the next wave of inspiration: Powell and Pressburger’s ‘The Red Shoes’, Michelangelo Antonioni’s ‘Red Dessert’, Wong Kar-wai’s ‘Chungking Express’, Sofia Coppola’s ‘Lost in Translation’, Ken Russell’s ‘The Devils’, Marcel Carné’s ‘Les Enfants du Paradis’, Luis Buñuel’s ‘The Exterminating Angel’, and anything by Stanley Kubrick.

 

© Matthew Dever

I suppose the thing with documentary photography is that it allows a tremendous opportunity to engage with people while making a photograph, to absorb their story, and if one can attempt to attract an audience this can stimulate further dialogue; photography is it’s very sociable and it is well placed to be able to document an important period for Great Britain and this project, by way of including as many photographers as possible, will create a varied view of what Great Britain is today.

 

See Matthews’s Shutter Hub portfolio here to find out more about his work, and visit his website here.

 

Would you like your work to be part of the Postcards from Great Britain archive and future exhibitions? The Call for Entries is open until 31 December 2020 – find out more and enter here!

 


 

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