homecominggallery homecominggallery

Eddie Wrey

As a child London-based photographer Eddie Wrey moved from the English countryside to Sri Lanka. He had been playing around with cameras for as long as he could remember, but it was only later in life, as a professional photographer, that he realised how much his upbringing had infused his work. While Wiltshire offered rolling green hills and quaint villages, it was Sri Lanka with his explosive colour palette, cacophony of noise and bustling communities that would really leave a permanent mark on his style and aesthetic. ‘Saturation, colour and vibrancy was definitely instilled in me through my exposure to South Asia from a young age”. He graduated with a degree in Chemistry from the University of Bristol, but rather than spending his days in a lab, he switched to the darkroom, where his technical eye and creativity could merge. Today he travels around the globe – from Djibouti to Uzbekistan, from Côte D’Ivoire to Cuba – combining his commissioned high end fashion work for brands like Miu Miu and publications such as AnOther, with more personal, documentary and still life work.

Here he reflects on how he uses his camera as a tool to foster a deep appreciation and familiarity with diverse cultures, what key developments he traces in his photographic journey and how fine art and fashion photography feed each other.

Q
For many photographs the camera is like a vessel through which they approach people and new cultures around them. Is that something that resonates with you?

A
The camera is an interesting device. My first memory of a camera was my dad’s, who was an avid ameuteur photographer who had his own dark room. We would often go on summer road trips, where they would always be Olympus floating around. As young as five years old, I would pick it up and somehow everything through that lens made that world that much more compelling – it removed me from reality. From then onwards, the camera always presented me with some form of escape. In terms of photographing people, I have realised in hindsight how the camera has often been the catalyst for special moments – conversations that I have had or portraits that I have taken. My photography is all about having that encounter, and hoping that whoever was on the other side of the camera, shares that.

Q
If you look back to where you started as a photographer, what are some of the key developments you can trace in your work?

A
I would like to think that I am constantly evolving, and that each new photograph has a little bit more of the last. Being in a dark room, you have a lot of time to scrutinise your work. What I have noticed is that a consistent factor to my work has been the intuitive approach, and I am eager to bring that more into the studio, instead of just shooting on location. I actually started out as an assistant to a studio photographer, and I find bringing a high degree of control to one’s work an exciting prospect.

Q
The series Adjamé, available through Homecoming, also has an abstract, still-life quality to it. Could you tell us something about how it came about?

A
I was in Côte D’Ivoire for a commissioned job when I was taken to the largest marketplace in the region, called Adjamé. For West-African traders, this place is a dream: any produce or goods that they sell in neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, are sourced here. Weaving their way through this ordered chaos were women carrying objects stacked into neat piles on top of washing bowls, balancing on their heads, like these beautiful sculptures. I wanted to capture these ladies against a black backdrop so that the array of vibrant colours would pop. Equipped with nothing more than a faux piece of black leather that I taped to a wall, I created a little make-shift studio. Next, in exchange for buying their goods, they allowed me to take their photographs, and within half an hour a queue had formed. The decision not to show the subjects’ faces felt intuitive. I wanted the primary focus of the images to be the breadth of produce on offer, whilst also accentuating the sculptural forms. I didn’t know if the work would amount to anything – but after developing it, the simplicity and abstraction works.

Q
Does it in a way feel like a new departure point in your work?

A
I would love to bring the essence of that series into the studio, and really study it – rather than it being a momentary capture. Additionally, I want to delve into the technicality of it, and refine what is inside the frame. The art of still lives – so to say. But I am also exploring black-and-white printed on platinum, there’s an incredible tactility to that type of print.

Q
Rather than in a magazine or on your screen, with Homecoming your work will be finding its way to people’s walls.

A
My main occupation now has more to do with the ladies, as it is their portraits that are becoming arts. That is definitely something that I want to think about more as I am going forward: what constitutes a fair exchange? But other than that, I am also incredibly happy that people will be enjoying those symbols of strength and power that I felt as I documented it. It feels like it justifies me being in that moment.

Q
It is fascinating to see how a new generation of fashion-cum-documentary photographers – like Tyler Mitchell or Jamie Hawkesworth for instance – are entering fine art territory. Do you consider yourself to be part of that generation?.

A
Looking back, this development has been happening both ways. World-famous fine art photographs like Stephen Shore and Joel Meyerowitz also have a history of dabbling in the fashion world. The commercial and the personal have always fed each other – something that applies to my own work as well.

My hero photographers and early references used to be predominantly still-life and rapportage photographers like Steve McCurry, Robert Capa and Don McCullin – you know, the Magnum gang. Followed by guys like Helmut Newton, who would make me understand fashion more. Next was Irving Penn, I mean: wow. The way he would spend time in places and make shapes out of objects. And then of course all the American large-format colour photographers like Joel Sternfeld, who brought technicality to his colour schemes, and explored how the nothingness of space can have a quiet beauty to it. And let’s not forget Diane arbus and August Sander! The list could go on and on. You see how these genres meander, and how that can be seen reflected in my work.


We are looking forward to seeing where it headed!

homecominggallery

BIO

Eddie Wrey, UK
Representation NY / London CLM Agency.

Expo's

2022 - Scope Miami - US - Homecoming Gallery
2022 - soloshow at MENDO - NL - Homecoming Gallery
2022 - Unseen - NL - Homecoming Gallery

EDDie WREY

Adjamé 13
Ivory Coast, AbidjanGiclée on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: light wood, full bleed Eddie Wrey is known for his ethereal stylized documentary photography and deep vibrant palettes, shooting campaigns for global fashion houses like Miu Miu, Dior etc but also for his personal...
from $869.88
Add to Wish List
Adjamé 14
Ivory Coast, AbidjanGiclée on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: light wood, full bleed Eddie Wrey is known for his ethereal stylized documentary photography and deep vibrant palettes, shooting campaigns for global fashion houses like Miu Miu, Dior etc but also for his personal...
from $869.88
Add to Wish List
Adjamé 12
Ivory Coast, AbidjanGiclée on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: light wood, full bleed Eddie Wrey is known for his ethereal stylized documentary photography and deep vibrant palettes, shooting campaigns for global fashion houses like Miu Miu, Dior etc but also for his personal...
from $869.88
Add to Wish List
Adjamé 11
Ivory Coast, AbidjanGiclée on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: light wood, full bleed Eddie Wrey is known for his ethereal stylized documentary photography and deep vibrant palettes, shooting campaigns for global fashion houses like Miu Miu, Dior etc but also for his personal...
from $869.88
Add to Wish List
Adjamé 09
Ivory Coast, AbidjanGiclée on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: light wood, full bleed Eddie Wrey is known for his ethereal stylized documentary photography and deep vibrant palettes, shooting campaigns for global fashion houses like Miu Miu, Dior etc but also for his personal...
from $869.88
Add to Wish List
Adjamé 10
Ivory Coast, AbidjanGiclée on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: light wood, full bleed Eddie Wrey is known for his ethereal stylized documentary photography and deep vibrant palettes, shooting campaigns for global fashion houses like Miu Miu, Dior etc but also for his personal...
from $869.88
Add to Wish List
Adjamé 08
Ivory Coast, AbidjanGiclée on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: light wood, full bleed Eddie Wrey is known for his ethereal stylized documentary photography and deep vibrant palettes, shooting campaigns for global fashion houses like Miu Miu, Dior etc but also for his personal...
from $869.88
Add to Wish List
Adjamé 07
Ivory Coast, AbidjanGiclée on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: light wood, full bleed Eddie Wrey is known for his ethereal stylized documentary photography and deep vibrant palettes, shooting campaigns for global fashion houses like Miu Miu, Dior etc but also for his personal...
from $869.88
Add to Wish List
You have successfully subscribed!