Artist Q&A with Anthony Arrowsmith



Anthony Arrowsmith is a Swansea based artist and lecturer. His photographic and research practice are concerned with the continued use of traditional photographic processes and their relationship to the digital world. His teaching practice involves many aspects of his own work to inform ideas and concepts ranging from traditional darkroom work, pinhole cameras and large format photographic processes.


At present, he is working on a coastal photographic project. Although not intending to present traditional images of the coast, his photographs reflect the coast from the point of view of the sea but do not contain any images of the water.


 


"I am drawn to the idea that a place has its own identity that anyone can discover and most importantly that it can be different for everyone".



R&J: What are you working on at the moment?


AA:

At the moment I am working on a coastal photographic project. It developed from a previous piece of work where I used an A to Z street map of South Wales to find locations to photograph within. I chose a particular square and visited it in the hope of finding something or just recording the experience through my images. It was a good way of motivating myself to get out and make some images, but also with the idea of there being some process beyond just taking photographs. The pandemic brought that process to a grinding halt, as restrictions prevented me from moving around freely, but I think the pause gave me a bit of time to reflect too. I’ll maybe pick up the street map thread again in time, as it was really interesting, but it was the times I was at coastal areas I felt there was a different piece of work to be made. I am only in the early stages of something but the images I have been collecting feel like a series and are connected in some way. They have also been great experiences to capture as we have one of the great coastal areas in the UK on our doorstep. Though I am not aiming for traditional images of the coast, they will hopefully reflect the coast from the point of view the sea but not actually contain any images of water.

R&J: Are you an artist who prefers solitude or togetherness to thrive? Or do you need a balance of both? Have events over the past year and ongoing situation affected you? How have you remained positive?