Clare Bennett is a photographer, writer and one of this years Brighton Photo Fringe Emerging Curators. Currently studying an MA in Documentary Photography & Photojournalism at Westminster University, Bennett is also Assistant Front of House Manager at The Foundling Museum, London and Creative Director of the photography magazine - ‘Jaunt’.
She has been featured in Hotshoe, i-D, Grazia and the Telegraph and recently she assisted David Campany with the curation of ‘Walker Evans: The Magazine Work at MOCAK’ at the Krakow Photomonth Festival 2014.
Guy Gunstone spoke to Clare Bennett about her recent Trainee Curator position at Brighton Photo Fringe.
GG: What does being part of the programme involve and what have the preparations been running up to the festival?
CB: Being part of the BPF curatorial programme involves the selection of works for the Collectives and Open14 show. Then to select images from the shortlist for the projection at the Regency Town House and for the festival banners to grab the people of Brighton’s attention. Writing press releases, researching Peter Watkin’s practise and assisting in the selection of work displayed to ordering materials, painting and prepping the space at Vantage Point for the Collectives and assisting in the build at both locations.
GG: What is it like to have Daniel C. Bright as your mentor and what happens in the workshops with him?
CB: Having Daniel as a mentor has been really great. Our workshops have been very insightful with lots of conversations and helpful advice about the industry and guidance for our ideas for Open14 at Regency Town House.
GG: Why did you turn to curating and what made you decide to apply for the BPF trainee curator programme?
CB: I don’t think I suddenly turned to curating, it’s always been an area that I’ve had interest in. I had just been concentrating more on my own work before realising that I was equally excited about other photographer’s work and wanted to create shows around their ideas. I have so much to learn, so the BPF Trainee Curator Programme offered me the opportunity to push forward in my career.
GG: Which emerging photographer has caught your eye as somebody to look out for?
CB: There are so many but recently Rosaline Shahnavaz whom is a graduate of LCC caught my eye. Her project ‘Far Near Distance’ is really interesting. The project is around her cousin Sahar who lives a very confined life due to having strict parents in Iran. The project is portraits of Sahar on her own and the landscapes of the Alborz Mountains that surround her home, yet she has never been to see them. The work is very moving and touches on topics around social media and the representation of women in Iranian culture.
– Written by Guy Gunstone
– Photography by Emma Uwejoma