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Colin Hampden-White will be presenting his art work at GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2010 Visual Arts Exhibition @ Hampstead Town Hall / InterChange Studios, The Atrium, Hampstead Town Hall, 213 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 4QP. (Entrance from footpath on Haverstock Hill) / Tel: 020 7692 5800 / Wise Thoughts: 0208 8899555 Mon 8 to Friday 19 Nov (Sat, Sun closed) 10.30AM to 5.30PM / Entry Free

More info on: http://www.gaywisefestival.org.uk/artsexhibition.php

A chat with Colin:

What are you working on at present?

Preparing for a large exhibition of portraits of the greatest Bordeaux Winemakers to me shown at The Rebecca Hossack Gallery.

How would you describe the style of your own work ?

I see my work as storytelling, and character depiction.

I am intrigued by the question: nature or nurture? I am adopted and, in my late teens, learned that my birth parents were an artist and a concert pianist. This discovery led to a desire to explore the relationship that people have with the place they inhabit: at home, at work, or in the local area. My photographs open up the fault-lines between subject and environment to reveal the space in which identity is created.

My style is strongly narrative, with minimal interaction between subject and viewer. My pictures are intensely personal, yet freighted with strangeness, playing on the tension between familiarity and absurdity, convention and innovation. My work is imaginative, intuitive.

Colin Hampden-White
Colin Hampden-White

How relevant is your work today to be a part of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) or queer art work?

My portraiture is not limited by gender or sexuality and within my work I show images which are relevant to LGBT. The piece being exhibited is a prime example of depicting an ambiguous female couple leaving the viewer to make up their own minds as to the nature of their relationship or whether the nature of the relationship is important within the constraints of the image.

Tell us about your reasons for presenting your work as part of GFEST 2010:

My process started for this image (and the series which accompanies it) in a purely documentary fashion. From this documentary process a more stylised form or portraiture is formed.

I felt that the results from the series “The Mayfair Squatters” lent themselves to GFEST and the portrayal of ambiguous sexuality with the visual relationship between two people.

Do you see your work as ‘gay or queer art’?

I don’t see myself as a ‘gay or queer artist’ in the same way that I don’t see myself as a straight artist. I portray what I see and discover irrespective of the sexuality of the content. I see art as a pure form of free expression and if that is used to discuss sexuality then it certainly doesn’t take away from a piece of ‘art’.

How do you fund your practice?

I work as a professional photographer, working for various publications including Vogue italia and other Conde nast publications. I create art for exhibition and sale (I am represented by The Rebecca Hossack Gallery) and I also take advertising photographs.

How do you publicise or market your work?

Coming from a media background ( I have worked for The Times and the FT ), my contacts are pretty good within the publishing world. I spend no budget on Marketing in the strict sense but spend a good deal of my time networking within the fields I want to be published in or wish to work in.

How would you like to be known?

Just to continue to be known will do for now, How me or my work will be known will hopefully become clearer in time.

How do you see tomorrow’s ‘gay or queer art’ scene?

It would be great for art to be seen as art, neither gay or straight, just as art, so that the artwork speaks for itself and has no prejudice set against it for being ‘gay’ and therefore needs no special forum. It should be seen in  all forums primarily as a piece of art, it’s content should not effect it’s ability to be seen.

A single wish ?

Be alive long enough to feel like I have reached my potential.
Best wishes from GFEST to Colin.

Now in its fourth year, GFEST is supported by the Mayor of London, dignitaries, Ministers and MPs from all the leading parties, various London boroughs and Arts Council England.
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GFEST 2010  images on  http://www.flickr.com/photos/GFEST

GFEST 2010 Visual Art :  http://www.flickr.com/photos/gfest/sets/72157624870998137/

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LONDON: GAY ART FESTIVAL : GFEST 2010 showreel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwJ9UWJX1fg

More info on GFEST – Gaywise FESTival (GFEST in short) web: http://www.gaywisefestival.org.uk

GFEST Artistic Director: Niranjan Kamatkar

WISE THOUGHTS is an arts charity that organises GFEST – Gaywise FESTival  in venues across London.
GFEST web networks: http://www.wisethoughts.org http://www.gaywisefestival.org.uk http://www.facebook.com/niranjan.kamatkar http://www.gaywisefestival.blogspot.com/ http://twitter.com/gfest https://gaywisefestival.wordpress.com/ http://www.yoursemotionally.com/ http://www.myspace.com/interviewwithapolitician http://www.flickr.com/photos/gfest/ http://www.youtube.com/user/wisethoughts http://uk.linkedin.com/in/niranjankamatkar http://www.myspace.com/gaywisefestival
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