Our Instagrammer in Residence project invites emerging Instagrammers from around London to experience life at the Barbican and share their photography on our social channels and also in a digital exhibition throughout the Centre.
Our third Instagrammer in Residence is London-based Ty (@justanotherdayin), whose Instagram feed captures the dance between light and darkness and life’s daily encounters.
We talk to her about what makes a good picture, the multiple routes traversing the Barbican estate and how images evoke sensations and memories.
How would you describe your style of photography?
Candid moments shaped by the interplay between light and darkness, be these natural or artificial light, direct or projected. I have a deep fascination with daily encounters – spaces/places, light/shadows, people, music, conversations and even smells – that all have the ability to invoke sensations and memories for each of us. In the moments I capture, I strive to express what each can be, beyond what it is.
‘The Barbican is designed for its inhabitants, both transient and permanent, and of all ages’
What inspires you about the Barbican and its neighbourhood?
I am forever entranced by the way it plays with light, the ever changing shadow montages created by the shifting light set against the Barbican’s multilayered geometry and textures.
In some ways, it is an inhabited labyrinth, one where it is a joy to get lost in, as I am always discovering new vistas, spaces, details, textures and even sounds. The multiple routes traversing the Barbican estate are almost processional, where one gradually leaves the secular world behind to enter its inner sanctum. Imbued with a particular sense of place, the Barbican is one of those rare places which successfully mediate between the public and private realm, without defined borders.
Most importantly for me, the Barbican is designed for its inhabitants, both transient and permanent, and of all ages. It is a place to meet and interact, either by intent or of chance encounters, yet there is always a quiet corner to be found for those who seek it.
What makes a good picture?
I am intrigued by images which establish order within chaos, which convey a sense of movement and depth within a two dimensional medium. Faced as we are with a constant torrent of visual stimuli, a good picture for me has a contemplative depth which fosters a certain type of repose by the viewer, a pause to consider it further. Above all, the most powerful images to me are those capable of generating multiple narratives, depending on each viewer’s interpretation.
‘I am intrigued by images which establish order within chaos’
Which one of your photos are you most proud of, and why?
Perhaps the photo I am most proud of is a candid capture of a middle-aged couple gazing into the far distance, framed against the National Theatre. The way people interact with their environment, especially couples and those of a more advanced age are an endless source of fascination for me. At this moment, whilst they were both seemingly lost in their reveries, what struck me most was the togetherness they embodied, almost in solidarity against the harsh world represented by the sharp lines and crisp geometry of the National Theatre. The lady’s red jacket was a further vibrant counterpoint to the muted colours of their surroundings. This was just a momentary pause on their way to the National Theatre, one I could have easily missed but for serendipity.
Which five Instagram accounts should everyone follow?
@lemesant Using his mobile camera, Leandro has developed an uncanny ability to portray the essence of his subjects, crafting these into a cinematic ode to all he encounter. As he says of his approach, ‘to take candid portraits is to observe people as a traveller observes a foreign land; aware and amazed by the ordinary details and idiosyncrasies.’
@alice.rawsthorn Alice Rawsthorn has an amazing ability to bring together seemingly disparate fields into a cohesive discussion on a particular aspect of design. Paired with a decisive image for each, they are a constant source of learning and inspiration for me.
@itsreuben Reuben Wu seeks to portray the uncommon perspective in his photography, be these of the landscape or the urban environment, day or night imagery. He approaches each place with an open mind, exploring them as unknown territories. Through his eyes, each becomes an otherworldly, compelling dreamscape; all of which are pure visual delights.
@oliviermorisse Equally adept with capturing both landscapes and urban structures, his images are often captioned with track titles which enhances the mood he strives to evoke in his photography. His series, “Night Tales of the City’ are especially evocative, reminiscent of an ode to the tribulations of a lone worker toiling through the night (or perhaps a gamer battling through the night!).
@matthwjhnsn Matthew Johnson has one of the most rigorously curated Instagram galleries I have come across. Each image is a wonderfully nuanced study of a moment, of a detail, or a certain slant of light. Woven into the tableau of his gallery, these momentary fragments become part of a wider developing narrative that transcends time and geography.