Expeditions and Exhibitions: A Busy Life for Photography Graduate
Since graduating from BA(Hons) Marine & Natural History Photography in 2016, Chloe Russell has been busy with projects spanning a range of subjects and the globe.
With a series of high-profile internships under her belt, a mysterious photo product in the pipeline, several exhibitions coming up and a suitcase full of images, sound recordings and videos from her recent trip to Greenland, she’s got a lot on.
During Chloe’s initial internship and early career, she got experience working with a collection of huge brands: British Vogue, The Gentlewoman, Adidas, Stella McCartney, Balenciaga look books, designer Pam Hogg, London Fashion Week and Holly Cullen Casting. She currently works for the University of West England Bristol, while continuing her professional practice freelance.
Chloe told us: “I moved [from London] to Bristol in late 2018, two years after graduating, to be more involved in the natural world scene. I have been chosen as an artist to be paired with a scientist to create an artwork of their research. [It is] part of ‘Creative Reactions Bristol’, which is part of the larger global festival ‘Pint of Science Festival’.”
Working with Dr. Kaitlin Wade from the University of Bristol, Chloe is currently creating a piece of artwork from Dr. Wade’s research on gut bacteria. The exhibition will run from Thursday 2 May to Sunday 2 June 2019, in The Island and North Street Gallery, Bristol.
As well as exhibiting at the ‘Creative Reaction Bristol’ show, Chloe will also be exhibiting her work at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol (July-August) and The Centrespace Gallery, Bristol (August).
Chloe told us: “I am interested in science communication; it’s something that is continuously moving in our world, especially now we have access to so much information and sources on the internet. I’d like my work to educate people as well as stimulate. I like pushing the boundaries within my work and a constant theme is identity.”
Referring back to her project with Dr. Wade, Chloe said: “Although my bacteria images are visually aesthetic, the process and production of them isn’t so glamorous. But it’s different, has its own edge, and that’s what attracts me to carry on making.”
Amongst all of this, Chloe has also recently returned from an unforgettable research expedition to Upper Eastern Greenland, which was led by PhD student Anne Lydiat.
Chloe told us: “[It was] the upmost privilege to be a part of the team. We looked at climate change in the past 80 years and measured water samples for oceanic plastic – in a place that this hasn’t been done before! I brought with me four cameras: one digital, one 25mm, one 110mm, and a GoPro. Exploring this part of the world is something I can’t quite describe.”
The Greenland government allowed the team access to explore areas that have been barely touched by humanity; visited by around two people on average per year.
Chloe recalled: “We sailed and were exposed to a few hunting huts that the last visitors used, 15 years ago or longer. You felt like you were breathing in raw history that only the elements (and the odd polar bear) had access to. I am very lucky to have experienced a land such as this, and will try my utmost best to share my story.”
Chloe is in the process of editing her log of images, sound recordings and videos from the trip. She is also creating “an interactive product” that aims to bring her audience closer to her work. After that, who knows: this is just the beginning of her career story.