SPOTLIGHT: Previous UK Young Artist Sarah Mei Herman

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How did you get involved with UKYA?

I found out about the UKYA competition through the Royal Collage of Art, London, where I was studying at the time. I applied with some of my work and was selected for the event in Derby in 2010.

Your work centres around the relationships between people. Was this always an interest of yours or did it start with the relationship between your younger brother and your father?

During my studies for my BA degree, I experimented with double-portraiture and started photographing some of my friends together with their brothers or sisters. For my graduation I worked on two different projects; ‘Oma Belle’, a series about my grandmother, father and half-brother and ‘First Loves’, a series about young couples. I developed a deep fascination for relationships between people during this time.

Has photography always been an important part of your life? When did you realize it would be your chosen career?

I only started photographing when I was 18 or 19. I remember being fascinated by the idea of being a ‘photographer’ from a young age. My mother was always taking photos, so I grew up with photography. After high school I studied philosophy for a year, which I loved, but realised I wanted to go to art school. During a trip to my father’s home country, South Africa, I started photographing obsessively and came home with about 40 films. That year I applied to The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the Hague, where I studied for my Photography BA from 2001-2005

Other than your ongoing projects exploring human relationships, do you have any projects you are working on or planning?

My Series ‘First Loves’ is currently being exhibited at the 8th International Biennial of photography and Visual Arts at the Museum of Modern Art in Liege. I am planning to extend the idea of ‘First Loves’, to photographing young couples in different countries and explore the different ways in which young adolescents experience their first encounters with love. Right now I’m working on a collaboration where I am portraying fathers with their daughters.

To see more of Sarah’s work click here

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