BATH SPA, BRIGHTON (Onna Borbely)
Photography is an extensive medium that allows me to express myself and communicate not only emotionally, but psychologically and sometimes physically, developing a visual voice that allows for expression of myself.
My early years of education was with a Steiner approach to education, which surrounded me with art, the ability to create and take an analytical approach to the historical contexts and reasoning behind what I was doing.
Predominantly working within the digital world, I enjoy exploring the blurred line between photography and graphic design, putting my work into context interrogates mediums such as book work and more commercial editorial layouts. In contrast to this, I also enjoy working with a more conceptual, fine art approach, leaning heavily on poetry and literature to influence my work. I try to incorporate photographic theory to underpin my work, reading around not only technical aspects such as studio lighting, but also ‘Ways of Seeing’ by John Berger expanding my theoretical knowledge of how to approach art within a variety of contexts.
The Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Bournemouth Arts University has enabled me to become a more independent artist by working through open ended briefs and extensively collecting research. Not only has the Foundation allowed me to develop my practical skills but it has also given me an understanding on a more commercial approach to the photographic process. Critiques have enabled me to learn the important skills of taking on board feedback from likeminded tutors and peers and has allowed me to develop my ideas and outcomes to set briefs. I enjoy contributing to discussions and critical debates surrounding the subject, and I am a willing participant in theory lectures.
I am inspired by artists that use a variety of mediums, painters such as Monet’s later work with his use of light, tone and colour to create dreamlike paintings that influence my decisions on colour palettes and quality of light in my own work. American colourists such as Eggleston, Peter Gransers’ series ‘Sun City’ and Jackie Nickerson’s series ‘Faith’ have all been influential in my latest work. Attending Elton John’s collection of photography exhibition ‘The Radical Eye’ opened my eyes to the absolute scale and variety of photography existing in the world today, from Dorothea Lange to Rodchenko, the exhibition not only made me question the line that blurs art photography and documentary, but also how such a wide range of subjects can be considered within one exhibition.
I feel that keeping my knowledge of contemporary photography up-to-date is hugely important and time spent on websites and blogs such as Lensculture helps to expand my knowledge in this area. I also read photography magazines such as FOAM, Aesthetica, and the British Journal of Photography.
Raised in a Camphill Community and living with adults with learning difficulties allowed my childhood to be sheltered, yet set very firmly in reality. Work experience there after moving away allowed me to work not only on my communication with a variety of adults on the spectrum, adapting to a variety of individuals and situations, but also made me understand the vitality of communication within the photographic community.
My part time work as a waitress allows me to extend these skills. Working part time alongside both my A-levels and now the foundation course has taught me the valuable skill of managing my time, prioritising my academic work in between uncertain shift patterns.
To study photography at degree level is something that has excited me for many years, the opportunity to experience new environments, greater resources and an introduction to new perspectives, stimulating ideas and like-minded creative colleagues is something I feel truly passionate about. I feel I can offer an engaged combination of creativity, and communicative success, bringing new ideas and inventiveness.