Tuesday 13 January 2009

Laura Pannack

I got chatting to a very talented young photographer by the name of Laura Pannack last week at Flowers East and discovered she was in fact the author of a body of work that I adore so much so I must share it with you all just in case you are not familiar with it. She is still at a very early stage in her career but given that she won the Next Perspective Hotshoe Award and assisted the likes of Simon Roberts for 2 years during university, she has come quite far in a short space of time. Here are a few images and artist statement from her beautiful project the untitled:

All images ©Laura Pannack

"Shut out from the teenage world the majority of us struggle to comprehend the behaviour of some adolescents. Through a lack of understanding ,which breeds fear,we tend to stereotype young people. However, these judgements are fuel for rebellion, intensifying the search for attention,identity and belonging.

The invincible yet vulnerable nature of teenagers has inspired me to embark on photographic adventures, sharing their company and releasing their undefined identity through the art of picture making.

I have intentionally chosen not to title my project as I did not want to label or define any of my subjects. Likewise, I have left it unclear whether my subjects are young offenders on probation, pupils with special needs, private school attendants or other young people I have encountered. The images are simply titled with the true forename of each young person, giving the viewer a hint as to their identity without attaching stigma – and emphasising the fact that each of my subjects is unique.

Adolescence is a universal experience and by considering these images we can begin to reflect and connect with the subject. Young people are a constant reminder of our existence, our past and our identity. Just as we wonder for them, we also review who we have grown up to become.

With the prevalence of negative images of young people in the media, it is time to celebrate British youth with their infinite diversities and see them as individuals with a huge potential of talent and skills they can offer to our country. We need to challenge those images which only serve to give our youth a sense of low worth resulting in a perpetuating cycle of problems, low image, crime, bad press, low self esteem and more crime. Constructing stereotypes and transcribing blame is preventing the next generation from being inspired to achieve and develop self-confidence. I hope through my imagery to challenge these perceptions."