PHO705: Guest Lecture (Research) – Sarah Pickering

I went back to watch this Guest Lecture video and make observations.


Sarah’s many projects are formed though collaboration in the making. The work is very much out in the public domain. This was true of the Pickpocket performance work that used a professional pickpocket to set-up a reverse pickpocket as a means to training artists who are always being asked to contribute their work without a fee.

The many other works were also collaborations, mainly with the emergency services, regarding training for riots or fire, gunfire and explosions. These are dynamic interactions in the real world and end up in print.

An observation Sarah makes is around social coding and stereotyping in the scenes used for practice. Whether this is the type of furniture in a room or being briefed that a mother went to the shops and left her children in the flat where the fire is (an intention being to help stop fire fighters from identifying personally with the circumstances).

Advice included a point about get your work out there and show your work or it will never take off. It will remain under your bed.

The art business is very hierarchical in Britain when it comes to accepting photographic art. You don’t want to fall into the trap of making painterly work. Presumably, this relates to the photographer adapting to the gallery market instead of staying true to the foundations of their work.

The session ends with a call to making physical prints, Even small prints rather than exhibition size. Make them and move them around. This is especially important in an online environment such as our MA course.


Photographs – Sarah Pickering from Falmouth video lecture

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