Perhaps better known to It’s Nice That readers as a portrait photographer – for his Ermine Street series and Portrait of Britain cover shot – Phil Sharp has been experimenting with landscape and narrative. His latest series, [ non]fictions depicts individuals within a London scene, each with their own story in the caption (which you can read here). Aiming to play with fact and fiction, the series appears – like much of his work – documentary-based, but is in fact concocted by Phil.
“It started off with me wanting to find a way to combine landscapes and portraiture,” the photographer explains. “I liked the idea of taking an interesting landscape, or topographic photograph, and seeing how the addition of a figure changed the way the viewer connected with it.”
His first experiments can be seen in earlier series The Human Landscape but Phil says he wanted more control, and to construct the images himself. So in [ non]fictions, every subject is an actor, who has devised a character for the portrait. After discussing these with the actors, Phil chose the location and collaborated with the subjects on creating the scene in which their character would appear.
The photographs are cinematic in composition and lighting, which Phil says adds to these questions of fact vs fiction, staged vs real, while their consistent framing brings cohesiveness across the different stories and settings.
Taken around London, the photographs capture a moment in each characters’ journey, and the series is intended to be viewed in sequence, with each subject connected to the ones before and after in some way. “It’s a sort of six degrees of separation idea, and a reminder that our behaviours affect people outside of our immediate circle.”
- Victor Fonseca treats his graphic design practice like a “playground”
- Photographer Jack Latham investigates the hidden conspiracies of Bohemian Grove
- Stella Park’s warm illustrations reflect her outlook on life
- Ugly beauty and challenging established norms feature in Jade Palace's collaboration with Yat Pit
- Astrid Seme elevates an artist’s work by challenging it through the lens of design
- Elizabeth Hibbard’s unsettling photographs examine subjective experience with a visceral gaze
- New study claims to pinpoint the most creative time of day, down to the minute
- Singapore-based studio Swell explores the idea of the banished book
- "My little niece and my grandmother like the game equally": how Playables made the simply addictive Kids
- In being "open to possibilities" still life painter Duane Keiser paints the everyday joys of life
- What the cluck? KFC releases limited-edition bucket hat
- For Bizzarri-Rodriguez, book design “is everything except a science”