SPOTLIGHT: UK Young Artist Ami Barnes

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How did you get involved with UKYA?

After university, I started submitting work to as many competitions and galleries as I could. I found it hard to find competitions that would accept video based photographic work – but as UKYA called for all entries, it was precisely the sort of platform I hoped to get my work shown.

Your series based around first dates is an interesting concept, please tell us about it?

The first date series was my response to a couple of coinciding situations – I found myself in Marseille, on a month long workshop under Antoine D’Agata, two months after the ending of a 5 year relationship. I wanted my work to enable me to reach out to people and this situation allowed me to make contact and have some meaningful human interaction. The two most important things for me during the creation of this work was that I was about to recognise each date as individual, I wanted to share something for myself and to have something shared with me in return. I needed to feel that I had the right to share these encounters; a lot of it relies on trust. A less emotional answer to this question can be found on my website.

Are you working on any projects at the moment? Tell us about it/them?

I’m always taking pictures but ‘first dates’ was such an upheaval, I subsequently found it hard to produce work which means as much to me. I loved that work from its conception, and fitting such immersive forms of working into everyday life has proved quite difficult. One thing that has come out of it is an increased enjoyment of creating in close collaboration with people who I trust and who trust me. I am starting to put the images of a potential new series on my blog, but don’t quite know where it’s going yet. I am excited about the process of making and putting things together again.

What would you say is your biggest photographic aspiration/goal?

The most important thing I can achieve through photography is my continuing sanity – photography played a massive part in the recovery from my eating disorders and depression. I use it to help moderate my moods even years later (My blog has more info). I hope to continue making work that has the power to affect people; I want people to experience an emotional response when they see my work. I am also currently attempting to make myself into a suitable candidate for a Masters in Art Therapy. Art can be such a positive force for change and I would love the opportunity to do that professionally.

For more of Ami’s work click here


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