Stuart Whipps - Shed, 2008

Digital chromogenic print, courtesy the artist.

Stuart Whipps - Fog, 2008

Digital chromogenic print, courtesy the artist.

Stuart Whipps

All of Stuart Whipps' work begins with an historic position or artifact. This often comes from a targeted period of research, sometimes it is the result of chance and fortune. Recent works have utilised found negatives from redundant photographic labs; the archive of Margaret Thatcher's Speeches, Interviews and Statements; a collection of vintage 'adult publications' and the photographic collection of the British Motor Heritage Museum.

The consideration of photography as a reductive process informs the production of Whipps' work, both when it is directly photographic and when it is not. He is often attempting to reduce complex narratives into a single object, image or motif in order to interrogate documentary practices and explore alternative narrative structures.

Whipps is currently working on a number of projects that have this enquiry at their core:

In Johannesburg, SA he is reinstating a commercial photography lab that closed in 1996. He encountered the remains of the business whilst doing a residency in 2007 and has been hand printing the negatives over a period of time. Later this year he will open Photo Colour Services once more as a research, rather than production, lab. Working with individual and institutional partners in Johannesburg he will interrogate the photographic material that the lab produced in the 1980s and 90s.

In Birmingham, UK he is beginning the restoration of a 1979 Mini that was built at the Longbridge motor works. 1979 was a pivotal time in the UK generally and specifically at Longbridge. That year saw the election of Margaret Thatcher in May and, at Longbridge, the sacking of the talismanic, communist union convener Derrick 'Red Robbo' Robinson in November. Stuart Whipps is looking for evidence of this tumult in the materials of the mini. The restoration will be undertaken with ex-workers of the factory.

Staurt Whipps lives and works in Birmingham. Selected solo exhibitions include: Birth Springs, Death Falls, Flat Time House, London, 2013; Tick, Tack, Tick, Tack, Tick, David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland and Why Contribute to The Spread of Ugliness?, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 2011. Selected group exhibitions include: Relatively Absolute, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire, 2013 and Community Without Propinquity, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, 2011. In 2005 he won the Observer Hodge Photography Prize. In 2009 he was the joint recipient of the East International prize.