The Archisle Project is delighted to announce the appointment of Tom Pope as International Photographer in Residence 2015. The Archisle Residency, now in its third year, brings international contemporary photographers to Jersey to create, educate and exhibit. The residency awards a bursary of £10,000 for an exhibition of new work responding to the culture of the Jersey and set of these works enter the Archisle Collection at the Société Jersiaise Photographic Archive for future public enjoyment.
Born in Bristol, UK in 1986 Tom Pope’s artistic practice is primarily based within performed photography. Pope’s playful and whimsical approach orchestrates situations and performed gestures of social interaction. Within these settings the public become willing participators and collaborators where the act of taking photographs is a social event. Spontaneity is embraced and chance encouraged. This upfront strategy of direct social engagement can be edgy and exciting. Pope’s practice does not make artwork for a community; it creates a community through the act of making art through play, improvised events and social intervention. Many of Pope’s works are interdisciplinary, combining performance, photography and moving image. His use of photography and video both documents and transforms these happenings that take place in a variety of locations from the street to art galleries. The resulting improvised images depict the excitement and often absurdity that develops through his connections with members of the public who have been active participants within the making process.
Pope comments: ‘The Archisle Residency Programme is a fantastic opportunity to immerse myself into the Jersey community. The work I intend to carry out in Jersey will explore notions of play and how we conduct ourselves in public. Gathering inspiration from the Société Jersiaise Photo Archive and collaborating with the Jersey community, performances and situations will be initiated where the act of taking and making photographs becomes a social event.’ Tom Pope studied Photography in the Arts at Swansea Metropolitan University and received his MFA from the Royal College of Art in 2011. His works are in the National Museum of Wales and National Portrait Gallery. Recipient of a Deutsche Bank Award Pope won the Night Contact/Photoworks commission 2014. The resulting film Silent Fore to Aft in collaboration with Terry Smith premiered at Brighton Photo Biennial 2014.
Archisle Project Leader Gareth Syvret said: ‘Following the success of the residencies of Michelle Sank and Yury Toroptsov, Tom Pope is a great appointment for 2015 that reflects the diversity and fresh thinking in contemporary photography that drives Archisle. In a year when Jersey hosts the Island Games it’s fascinating to think where Pope’s ideas about the “history and appropriateness of play” will lead.