Dr Corinne Silva was awarded a PhD from London College of Communication this year and has since become a Post Doctoral Research Fellow and has been included in Aesthetica’s The Next Generation: emerging photographers that are shaping the future of the image-based practice. Find out more about Corinne’s experience at LCC and her flourishing career.
- Tell us what it means to you be included in Aesthetica’s The Next Generation
One of the intentions with my work is to rupture specific ways of looking, of reading photographs and reading landscape, so it feels like an acknowledgement of my contribution to contemporary photographic discourse.
- Where do you mostly work/research, in your studio/at LCC or in the library, if a library, which is your favourite?
I love the Stuart Hall Library at INIVA, it’s comfortable and homely, but just library-ish enough to create the right atmosphere for disciplined work. And they have such a great collection of exhibition catalogues and artist’s films.
I have a studio in Dalston, which I share with a friend and collaborator, artist and video editor Lara Garcia Reyne. We begin most days discussing our joint or individual projects. I also have ‘critical friendships’ with my peers at PARC (Photography and the Archive Research Centre) and UAL. This space to discuss and be challenged is so important, and it keeps me excited about my work. It’s hard to be a freelance artist working alone, trying to make things happen. Discussion and collaboration with peers keeps the energy going and reminds me how much fun it is.
- Why did you choose to study your PhD at LCC? Was it a good experience?
LCC felt like the obvious choice given its reputation for photography, the impressive list of artists teaching there, and the vast experience and specific research interests of my supervisors. I went to an open day and had a really good discussion with Professor Angus Carlyle who was very enthusiastic about my project and helped me shape my research question.
I have always hated institutions – the buildings as much as the social structure. They make me want to flee immediately. But I have a completely different relationship with LCC. It has a good – slightly messy, slightly chaotic – energy. All the people I work with are so committed to what they do, and there is an academic rigor as well as an understanding of the value of practice as research.
The joy of being able to access such impressive practitioners and theorists at LCC and across UAL made my PhD a rich experience. Alongside my own research PARC-led events, I also collaborated with members of TrAIN (Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation), organising cross-disciplinary conferences and events around our shared research interests. These connections have endured and I am now part of a wider inter-disciplinary research community across the University.
- What was the transition from PhD researcher to Research Fellow like?
As an artist doing a practice-based doctorate, completing my PhD didn’t draw a line under the work. All my individual photographic and video projects pivot around the same inquiries. One project always unfolds a new set of questions, which I then try and tackle in the next work. So while perhaps there wasn’t the same sense of satisfaction of completion, it has meant that there’s no rupture; with the support of the Fellowship I have simply carried on researching and producing.
I have been enormously lucky to have the continued support of Professor Val Williams and PARC. Through a partnership with two public space galleries and PARC, I’m now planning a solo show and publication of Garden State, work I made as part of my doctorate. I’m also developing an ambitious new art production and networking project, Rocks & Fortresses. Moving between art and academic spheres suits my research-based approach. This new work will be about making links between art and academic institutions, and presenting work through different platforms.
- Read: Corinne’s interview in Aesthetica the Arts & Culture Magazine, August/September 2014
- Read about Corinne’s PhD project
- Find out more about Corinne’s work: Corinne’s website