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Friday #ArtCrush: Aaron Moore

Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at OCAD University.

This Friday’s art crush is Aaron Moore, a fourth year thesis student majoring in Photography.

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In this issue, Morgan and Aaron talk about re purposing images, issues of representation in photography and ideas of what a photograph can be.

Who or what are your main photographic inspirations?

Right now I’m really interested in Broomberg and Chanarin, Walid Ra’ad, Taryn Simon and Thomas Demand as well as Martin Creed, although his work isn’t mainly photographic.

What subject matter do you tend to spend the most time working on?

I’m really interested in geography, history and issues of representation within images so I find myself going back to the history and landscape of Northern Ireland (where I’m from) and The Troubles, and I enjoy working with material I can pull from that.

 

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Aaron Moore, Star Wars #2, 2016

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You work often with found and/or archival images, what draws you to those objects and what makes you want to use them?

I think it’s that there are so many associations that already exist within those images, and I find it far more satisfying to reuse an image, and work with whatever it provides me than to try and invent my own, I actually don’t take a lot of photographs at all.

How do you think using archival images or text in your art practice challenges or broadens notions of photography?

For me it’s more about shifting contexts around photography, I think archival images and photographs with text are indisputably photography, I’m just not too sure what a photograph is at the moment.

Much of the subject matter you use in your work, and in the found images and materials you use can been seen and interpreted as political. Do you see yourself as a political artist? What do you believe or see as the line between being a political artist and using politics in your work?

I believe my work is political, but only as political as every other kind of art object; I’m not necessarily trying to push any kind of political statement onto a viewer, but I enjoy using politics as a subject and it’s important for me to critique certain politics, and make that critique available to others.

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Aaron Moore, Star Wars #1, 2016

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Do you work in any other mediums or do you blend photography with other mediums?

I work with found objects quite a bit, I also work in video sporadically and I’ve recently started making sculptures.

What is the value of being able to blend photography with other art mediums? How do you think that changes viewers experiences?

I try to use whatever medium I’m working with in a kind of utilitarian way in order to articulate my ideas, I’ll use sculpture, video or readymades if what I want to express can’t be expressed in photography, it definitely has the ability to change a viewers experience but that really depends on the object/medium and its function within whatever I’m doing.

What body of work are you working on right now?

I’m working on my thesis work right now which I’m calling Diverted Traffic, I’m basically taking around six different issues that come up around the history of The Troubles in N.I. and rethinking and reinterpreting them in a particular way.

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Aaron Moore, Untitled, 2016

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Where do you foresee your career path going? Who would you like to work with in the future?

I have no idea, I’d like to continue to try show my work, and the goal is to be able to sustain myself and live comfortably through my art practice, but I’m not too sure about how I’m going to get there right now. In my ideal world I’d love to work with Broomberg and Chanarin, Martin Creed and lots of artist working in Toronto right now.

Are their any specific OCAD U Faculty who have influenced your work? A specific discipline or course?

There have been lots! Nick Pie and Simon Glass have really helped me develop what I do conceptually, as well as Jean-Paul Kelly, Jeff Tutt, and Lee Henderson, there’s lots of great people working in that building.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone starting out in photography?

I get stressed out a lot, so I would say relax !

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See Aaron’s work at the

102nd Graduate Exhibition at OCAD University, May 3rd-7th.

Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at OCAD University.

Interview by Morgan Sears-Williams

About the writer: Morgan is a fourth year photography student and runs the Friday #ArtCrush series on the OCAD U Photography Blog. She loves speaking to other artists about social justice, how to break barriers within artist communities and nurturing the arts in alternative spaces. She is the Art Director for The RUDE Collective, a student representative on the Photography Curriculum Committee and has done workshops on intersectionality and allyship relating to LGBTQ folks. To see more, you can visit her website or her instagram.

Friday #ArtCrush: Meghan Boyle

Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at OCAD University. This Friday’s #ArtCrush is Meghan Boyle, a fourth year student at OCAD University, majoring in photography.
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In this issue Morgan and Meghan talk language in relation to gender roles, disrupting the patriarchy and the feminist gaze in photography.
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Who or what are your main inspirations?
Some of my main photographic inspirations would have to be Henri Cartier Bresson, Carrie Mae Weems, & Nan Goldin. As well as writers such as bell hooks, John Berger, & Allen Ginsberg.
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What drives you to work with that subject matter?
I think the idea of a female, or any other minority really, being the role of anything other than the muse or person in distress disrupts the patriarchy & I get a kick out of that.
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You speak often of the ‘female gaze’ in photography. What does that mean to you and how is that shown?
I like to think that I’m trying to propose the idea of a “female” or “feminist gaze” by presenting women in a new way, outside of the inherent sexualized and victimized role typically seen in media. I think it’s so important to me because for so long I felt that I did not have censorship or control over how my own body was being seen or portrayed, & I feel that’s a feeling both men and women have alike.
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Meghan Boyle, Projections, 2016
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What do you believe to be valuable in the idea of women taking photographs of other women and how does this subvert the typical male gaze? 
Women taking photos of other women opens up a new way of seeing, in my opinion. Not to say that every time a man photographs a woman or vice versa, they are being subjected; but by giving women the option to be both the artist & muse, we can be empowered by things outside of our looks and physical appearance or how men see us.
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How would you describe the aesthetic you choose to work in? 
I would say my aesthetic reflects my outlook on the world. I typically try to look for the positive side of things, hence the colour palette and serene lighting. But sometimes you can’t help the dark days or feeling down about things, which is why I tend to hint towards the darker side life through certain symbols & other implications.
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You have spoken before about having an intersectional feminist framework for your work, what does that mean to you and how does this come out in your work? 
I aim to create intersectional feminist work because I feel there is a big misrepresentation of what feminism is truly meant to be in mainstream media. As often as I can I try to address how the patriarchal & capitalist society effects both men and women of any demographic through creating idealistic or idealized living standards. In my current thesis work I am aiming to use language to create a piece that can speak to many different generations and subcultures.
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Meghan Boyle, The First Time, 2015
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You work a lot with film, what do you think the value is in working with film in an increasingly digital age?
Working in film is something I’ve been doing since I started taking photographs, there’s something about how film works as opposed to digital. I enjoy the idea that film photographs are one of the only ways you can create something personal without having to digitize it or share it over whichever social platform you choose. I also prefer grain over pixel.
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Besides photography, what other mediums do you work in? How does this influence your art practice?
I enjoy working with other mediums such as embroidery & printmaking, I find that these mediums can help me piece together my ideas in a tactile way without bombarding the viewer with too much information. I also work with collages quite a bit, they help me with my process & to subdue or narrow down my thoughts and ideas.
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What body of work are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on my thesis which is going to be a textile installation with photographs addressing language and gender roles. I’m also creating zines which are basically like monthly photo diaries. As well as a portfolio of editorials and still lifes.
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Meghan Boyle, PUSSY, 2016
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Where do you foresee your career path going? Who would you like to work with in the future?
I see my career path going many different ways, I’d like to try a lot of different things in this life but I’m hoping to someday to have my own publication that speaks on what I think are important issues and ways to live a more feminist and sustainable life. The list of people I’d like to work with is never ending, which I like.
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Are their any specific OCAD U Faculty who have influenced your work? A specific discipline or course?
I wouldn’t say there are many that influenced my work visually. But some OCAD U Faculty such as Paul Dempsey from printmaking and Peter Sramek, and Simon Glass from photography really made my education about becoming a better artist and using my time in school to learn about how to translate and express my ideas through art in a meaningful way.
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Meghan Boyle, What You Don’t Have, 2016
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What is one piece of advice you would give to someone starting out in photography?
My piece of advice to anyone who’d like to take up photography is to always always have your camera on you! Shoot everything that catches your eye, good and bad. It’s important to figure out your own eye and shooting style, figure out what you want your photographs to look like and say, if your photos aren’t unique to you then no one will care.
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See Meghan’s work at the

102nd Graduate Exhibition at OCAD University, May 3rd-7th.

Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at OCAD University.

Interview by Morgan Sears-Williams

About the writer: Morgan is a fourth year photography student and runs the Friday #ArtCrush series on the OCAD U Photography Blog. She loves speaking to other artists about social justice, how to break barriers within artist communities and nurturing the arts in alternative spaces. She is the Art Director for The RUDE Collective, a student representative on the Photography Curriculum Committee and has done workshops on intersectionality and allyship relating to LGBTQ folks. To see more, you can visit her website or her instagram.

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