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

Instagrammer in Residence: Anna Heath

Tuesday 5 June 2018

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 June Instagrammer in Residence is Anna  Heath (@spannarama77), whose Instagram feed captures the beauty and intrigue among the mundane and everyday.

We talk to her about the Barbican and her eclectic style.

How would you describe your style of photography?

I don’t know that I really have a specific style; if I do, it’s probably best described as eclectic. I started a 365 project (taking and posting at least one photo every day) in 2012, and then never stopped, so I’m pretty much always on the lookout for a photo, wherever I can find it. I’d like to think I’ve got an eye for spotting beauty and intrigue among the mundane and everyday.

I’d like to think I’ve got an eye for spotting beauty and intrigue among the mundane and everyday

What inspires you about the Barbican and its neighbourhood?

I’ve really grown to love the Barbican over the years, and to appreciate the beauty in its brutal architecture. I’ll never walk anywhere at street level if I can take the highwalk; even if it means taking a bit of a roundabout route. It just feels like such a different world to the city around it; you can instantly escape from the crowds and the traffic, and explore its many walkways, hidden corners, and open spaces. I really love the contrast of concrete and nature, too – the lake is so obviously man-made, but that doesn’t deter the wildlife that thrives in it. And I’ve spent many a happy lunch hour (or a sneaky few minutes before work) wandering around the wildflower planting on the high walk with my camera.

And all that’s without even mentioning everything that goes on inside the Barbican Centre. The library, the art exhibitions, the music and theatre performances, the bars and restaurants. And then there’s the conservatory, and of course all the flats and the residents’ facilities. I’ve been lucky enough to get at least a glimpse of all of those at one time or another, and I’m really looking forward to getting behind the scenes this month.

If the light doesn’t complement the scene, it’s not going to be a great photo

What makes a good picture?

I think it took me a while to realise, but it’s a one word answer: light. It doesn’t matter how interesting the scene you’re capturing is, or how technically perfect your camera settings; if the light doesn’t complement the scene, it’s not going to be a great photo.

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

I’ve got a lot of personal favourites, but without over-thinking it, the one that springs to mind is a shot I took on the High Line in New York a few years ago. It was mostly luck, really (a fleeting moment I managed to capture), but I guess the bit I’m proud of is having my eyes open and being ready to exploit that lucky moment.

Which five Instagram accounts should everyone follow?

I first noticed @mikespilligan because of his river finds (seriously, check out the utter bounty he unearths!), but he also has an eye for ‘faces in places’ and is a master of the funny caption.

@messy.feet has a real eye for simple beauty in nature – and the occasional endearing burst of enthusiasm 🙂

I was already following @sa.ra.ja.co on blipfoto.com, where we both post our daily photos, then found her on Instagram, too. She’s another photographer on a mission to capture the beauty she sees around her.

I love @odlondon’s street and Tube shots in particular. He has a great eye for a quirky shot, and his X-Files and City Camouflage series are genius.

I know this is massively cheeky, but I really want to use this fifth spot to give a mention to three talented, creative ladies I know/am related to: @mixedupdolly (my sister, who makes really cool, quirky and kitsch jewellery); @untoldjewellerylondon (who not only makes beautiful, ethical jewellery, but also made/designed my and my husband’s wedding rings); and @andthenshepainted (a good friend who creates beautiful abstract paintings).

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