The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at
The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at

Instagrammer in Residence: Philippa Thomas

Monday 12 March 2018

Headshot! (+ wonky fringe)

A post shared by Philippa Thomas (@lostandffound) on

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 March Instagrammer in Residence is Philippa (@lostandffound), whose Instagram feed draws us in with photos of inanimate objects, landscapes, and everyday life.

We talk to her about the Barbican and finding beauty in the mundane.

How would you describe your style of photography?

I’d say my style is quite graphic, and occasionally abstract – I’ve always loved the idea of taking photos of people, but somehow I seem to be drawn to inanimate objects…! I really enjoy looking for interesting details, shapes and colours, and finding beauty in the mundane.

Train travelling 🚂🚂🚂

A post shared by Philippa Thomas (@lostandffound) on

I really enjoy looking for interesting details, shapes and colours, and finding beauty in the mundane

What inspires you about the Barbican and its neighbourhood?

I think it’s actually the brutal nature of the Barbican and its sense of inaccessibility which I find the most appealing – I love that it feels like there’s still some undiscovered corners, no matter how many times I’ve been. It feels like the Barbican is full of contradictions – harsh yet serene, full of history yet new and exciting, well-known yet undiscovered. There’s so much history around the area which I find fascinating – not long ago I discovered that part of the old London wall still exists within the Barbican estate!

Glasgow's pink bathrooms 😍💞 . . . #pinkbathroom #glasgow #scotland

A post shared by Philippa Thomas (@lostandffound) on

What makes a good picture?

To me a good photo is one which evokes a feeling and has an element of intrigue – perhaps leaving the viewer wondering what lies outside the frame. I really enjoy taking my time working out a perfect composition for a photo, but sometimes the best pictures I’ve taken are quick snaps – a moment of light as the day is fading, or an interesting angle of something spotted while I’m in a rush somewhere.

Which one of your photos are you most proud of, and why?

Sometimes the best pictures I’ve taken are quick snaps

This photo was taken on my way back from seeing family in Scotland – the plane was fairly empty and the sunset was one of the most wonderful I’ve seen. I was busy looking out my window and taking about a million pictures, when I turned around and saw how beautiful the plane and sky looked on the other side! Seconds after I’d taken this the light had gone and colours faded. A snapshot of a beautiful moment in time.

Scandinavia bound! 🛫🌍 . . . #toiletsofinstagram #gatwick

A post shared by Philippa Thomas (@lostandffound) on

Which five Instagram accounts should everyone follow?

@laurenmaccabee – Lauren Maccabee takes the portrait photos I wish I could take! I love her composition, and she has a wonderful way of connecting with the viewer

@streetmarkings – This is an absolutely shameless plug for… myself! My alter ego is a spotter of street markings – markings made on the street by engineers, to map out the maze of pipes, wires and cables beneath it. These markings are a language designed to be purely practical rather than visually attractive, but I find them utterly fascinating and beautiful – to me they are a work of art.

@p_u_b_l_i_c _ – This is an account for a bar in Sheffield… which I have never actually been to. But I absolutely love the photography (taken by photographer India Hobson) – the rich colours and moody lighting make me feel transported to that bar, although I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, as it always leaves me craving a cocktail!

@cheerupluv – This account combines two of my key interests – feminism and photography. It’s the Humans of New York for any woman who’s ever experienced everyday sexism.

@lekkerzine – I love this magazine – a beautiful curated feed of minimalist photography.

One more cheeky plug for good luck! … – this is a fantastic project – a showcase of curated video playlists from the most interesting people in the creative industries – think the Desert Island Discs of internet videos. It’s only recently launched, so get on it before it gets big!

Follow us on Instagram @barbicancentre to see more of Philippa’s photography in the coming weeks.