ROBERT DARCH – ARTIST TALK

Darch came into photography at 16/17, telling us he loved to capture the ‘quiet moments’ inbetween the action of his friends skateboarding.

He studied photography BA at Newport and furthered this with an MA in Plymouth, finishing 2013.

He tells us of his influences, coming much more from the world of literature, and films, more specifically the horror/adventure aesthetic. He tells us of his love of just going and taking images, instead of mulling over ideas, just going out and exploring to generate the ideas. He works with a sense of ‘place’ and how a human consciousness connects to place and the impact it has within us as beings. One of his ongoing projects ‘Durlescombe’ focuses on the rural areas of Devon and Dartmoor, taking images all over the area, Darch puts the images together to create this new and constructed place, that is firmly based in reality, yet has a feel of fantasia about it.

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This project actually was personal to Darch, whilst researching family history, he came across images of him and previous generations living around the Dartmoor area. To further his project he got involved with the subjects of this project, developing relationships with them and furthering his connection.

His project ‘The Moor” really inspired me to start thinking about concepts within landscape photography, he creates this idea of an imagined fictional dystopia, shooting on days when Dartmoor was coated in heavy fog and rain, singling out lone people within the landscape. The emotional response to these images is interesting, as they feel lonely, but have a sense of myth and fantasy, also bringing in ideas of pagan worship and the history of Dartmoor.

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Within the industry, Darch networks and gains exposure for his work through social media sites such as Instagram, spending at least 2 hours a day using platforms to alleviate his work. He advises us to keep putting our work out there, constantly pushing to get it seen and featured. Darch has entered many competitions, but the success rate is not always something you can count on, however good your images are/

Darch emphasises the importance of the portrait is within the art world, and how much of a focus it carries within the industry, he says that his most successful portraits come from a relaxed way of being, and a genuine connection and feel for the subjects in his images, often spending whole days with his subjects.

I felt this talk was interesting and informative, and perhaps a different way of working to one that I am used to. My conceptual thinking takes precedence within my practise, preferring to create an idea and then act on it, whereas Darch has an opposite approach, taking things as they come and creating images from things coming together naturally. I found his talk engaging and interesting coming from a place where he is in the industry at this point in his life.

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