© Samuel Fordham, I Thought I Would Sit Here and Look Out Over the Fjord for the Last Time, 2018

This week we welcome Samuel Fordham to our Instagram takeover. A multidisciplinary artist working with photography, text, video and sound, Samuel takes us through his process.

A recent graduate of the MA Photography programme at UWE Bristol, Samuel has developed a research-based practice focused on telling intimate and often hidden stories highlighting issues surrounding childhood, family welfare and equality.

In 2018, he enrolled on a one-year mentorship through ISSP Latvia with Gordon MacDonald and Clare Strand (MacDonaldStrand), where he continued to develop his latest work C-R92BY.


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⁣My husband and I Are Separating in Part Because We Can’t Take the Stress Anymore, 2018⠀ ⠀ ⠀ “At the moment I am utterly terrified because I feel my wife is on the brink of giving up. My head is pounding, my heart is aching with pain. Just the thought of not being with my family makes my stomach sick. I can never imagine a life without my wife and daughter because they mean the world to me. I don’t know why I am venting to you and you are a total stranger, the truth is I am scared of losing my family.”⠀ ⠀ ⠀ This is @samuelwjfordham posting images from my work C-R92/BY. Some of the images in this work capture moments in my life that had a particular emotional resonance. They could be moments like what is represented in this image; the quotidian turned into something far larger.⠀ ⠀ #photoworks_uk #samuelfordham #instagramtakeover #photography

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⁣I Just Want to Know My Daughter Better, 2018⠀ ⠀ “Our five-year-old is now at a stage she realises that Skype is not a real connection as she wants me to physically hug and kiss her. So, because of her disappointments, she sometimes simply refuses to come near the computer whenever I am on Skype with them. It is almost as if she is punishing me for not being there physically. This has tremendously affected my own outlook in life and constantly left me in despair.”⠀ ⠀ This is @samuelwjfordham posting images from my work C-R92/BY. During a summer I spent away from my wife and daughter, I kept returning to screen recordings of our video calls to try and feel closer to them and I was reminded of how surficial a relationship with an image really is. The thirty minute exposure of this image has seen the entirety of these videos and hints towards my mental state at the time.⠀ #photoworks_uk #samuelfordham #instagramtakeover #photography

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Fordham’s projects are produced across platforms as installations, books and films. His work has been shown internationally in the UK, France, China, Lithuania, Georgia, Latvia and Ireland. Over the last year his work has won and been selected for awards including Paris Photo Carte Blanche Award, Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Magenta Foundation Flash Forward, Kaunas Photo Star Award,  Production Paradise Emerging Talent Award and the AOP Student Award.


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⁣He Gets Knots in His Tummy and Worries, Yeah. We Had Him at The Doctor a Few Times, 2018 ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ “[My son] went from a bubbly little boy to very reserved in the first few months of the separation, he was angry at us both but couldn’t understand why Dad won’t want to live with him. He would go from angry kicking out to long periods of cry and thought Dad didn’t love him. They are still working at rebuilding their relationship and trust.”⠀ ⠀ ⠀ During my training as an actor I became very interested in verbatim as a structure for storytelling. Clio Barnard’s The Arbor was a real landslide moment for me as an artist, not only for truth of character but for how documentary strategies can be implemented into fictitious images. This dialogue between the real and imagined is something I intended to play with through my work. The titles and captions of my images take on voices of real, lived experience, and the images play off them in fiction.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #photoworks_uk #samuelfordham #instagramtakeover #photography

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Fordham’s work has recently been placed in the Government Art Collection and has been featured in publications including, e-flux, The British Journal of Photography, Fisheye, Creativeboom, RPS Journal, B-24/7 and The Bristol Magazine.

Currently, Fordham is developing the next phase of his long-term project which documents the hostile environment and forcibly separated families in the United Kingdom.

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