Artist’s talk: Laura Pannack and David Campany
15th May 2023
British social documentary and portrait photographer Laura Pannack explores the complex relationship between the subject and the photographer. Her work has been exhibited across the UK and she has been the recipients of a number of prestigious awards. Here she talks to writer, curator of exhibitions and artist David Campany about her evocative imagery. ‘I learn most when I walk with a camera; about myself and the company I share. I engage. I stop mentally. I listen.’
David Campany is a curator, writer, editor, and educator. He teaches at the University of Westminster London, and is Curator at Large for the International Center of Photography, New York. David has worked worldwide with institutions including Tate, Whitechapel Gallery London, Centre Pompidou, Le Bal Paris, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, The Photographer’s Gallery London, ParisPhoto, PhotoLondon, The National Portrait Gallery London, Aperture, Steidl, MIT Press, Thames & Hudson, MACK and Frieze.
Recent curatorial projects include William Klein: Yes. Photographs, Paintings, Films 1948-2013 (2022), ACTUAL SIZE! Photography at Life Scale (2022); A Trillion Sunsets: A Century of Image Overload (2022); Gillian Laub: Family Matters (2021); Alex Majoli: SCENE (2019); The Still Point of the Turning World: Between Film and Photography (2017). In 2020, David curated the three-city Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie 2020 – The Lives and Loves of Images (Mannheim/Ludwigshafen/Heidelberg, Germany), working with 70 artists from 13 countries.
David’s many books include Indeterminacy: Thoughts on Time, The Image and Race(ism), co-written with Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa (2022), Victor Burgin’s Photopath (2022), On Photographs (2020), So Present, So Invisible – conversations on photography (2018), A Handful of Dust (2015), Walker Evans: the magazine work (Steidl 2014), Gasoline (MACK 2013), Jeff Wall: Picture for Women (MIT Press/ After all 2010), Photography and Cinema (Reaktion 2008) and Art and Photography (Phaidon 2003).
Laura Pannack is a London based photographer educated at Central Saint Martins, LCC and University of Brighton BA Hons. Renowned for her portraiture and social documentary work, she seeks to explore the complex relationship between subject and photographer. Her work has been extensively exhibited and published worldwide, including at The National Portrait Gallery, The Houses of Parliament, Somerset House and the Royal Festival Hall in London. Her artwork has received much acclaim and won numerous awards, among which are the John Kobal Award, Vic Odden prize, World Photo Press Awards, Juliet Margaret Cameron award, The Sony World photo awards, and the HSBC Prix de la Photographie prize.
Many of the projects focus on youth and time. She fuses her passion for psychology and creativity and often collaborates with a range of practitioners. She believes the process is always built on a shared experience. Laura aims to dig beneath the surface and shift beyond what we think we see. She is driven by research led, self-initiated projects that push her both as an artist and as an individual. Largely shooting on analogue film allows her process to be organic rather than being predefined by fixed ideas, introducing chance and fate. Many of her projects span over several years allowing the narrative to arise with the development. The work aims to tell and inspire stories. The aim is to connect and emotionally engage with a viewer. “I want you to look at my images and see your own story too.”