Curaty's featured artist of the week is Zula R. Zula often works with digital and analogue photography, and incorporates archival images and documents to challenge conventional visual story-telling norms. Check out this incredible blog she put together to share her story and journey as an artist.
- What's your story.
I was born in Poland, grew up in the UK and worked and studied in France, South Africa, China, India, Palestine and the French Caribbean.
I studied English and French for my BA, which later led me to carry out research on postcolonial Caribbean identity and I moved to Martinique. After completing that project, I started to work as a financial analyst and later as an operations manager.
I had always done photography on the side, and there was a point where I decided to change the direction of my career and I started an MA in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism at LCC. This gave me the necessary theoretical and practical skills and enabled me to make invaluable connections with my peers and industry professionals to help me fulfil my goal.
I currently work as a commercial photographer, and work on long-term documentary projects, which focus on the themes of belonging, identity and the meaning of home.
2. Is there a movement that inspired you? Why do you create the work you make?
Most of my documentary work stems from strong feelings of frustration. My project which focuses on the Vietnamese diaspora in Warsaw was a response to the rising xenophobia in racism in Poland.
The project before that, Citizens of Nowhere, was driven by my personal experience of immigrant life in the UK and through that I captured the feelings that underpinned my life after the Brexit referendum.
My most recent project was created in the vacuum of my flat and is a personal response to self-isolation. This is a work in progress and is the first time that I am working with self-portraiture.
3. What do you want your life to look like in 5 years, and what are you doing right now to get there?
I would to carry on working as photographer, make valuable work and also start doing more teaching and working with students and others who are entering the industry. I also want to develop many of my practical skills, for example learning new methods of making images such as cyanotypes or anotytpes, which use light and are very different from digital photography.
I am really interested in the relationship between form and content, and I believe that having the knowledge of the myriad of ways that an image can be made, or constructed, will help me long-term. To nourish that I regularly look at work of other artists, not just photographers, but painters, sculptors, animators or even dancers or composers. I also regularly apply for grants and competitions to try to get my work to be seen by industry professionals.
Once Covid calms down, I hope that many of the photo festivals, like Arles, will resume and I would like to attend.
Videos from this week's Masterclass & Studio Visit:
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A sneek peek to Zula's world and practice before her virtual studio visit TOMORROW! Sign Up via Eventbrite. She is a current student at UAL's Central Saint Martins, and an active documentary photographer. In this video she tell's us how she has been keeping creative and busy during this unique COVID 19 lockdown! #Curaty #WeChampionArtists #NoNakekWalls #COVID19 #ArtinLockdown
Love Zula's work? Support talented emerging artists with Curaty, their work is available for sale via our online gallery!