Nathan was one of four people to win the Redeye Talent Graduate Award last year. We caught up with him to talk about the inspiration and development of his graduation project...
“My project is called Gents. Formed throughout my final year at Manchester School of Art, the project investigates spaces and groups that are traditionally seen as masculine. Through photographing these locations, I hoped to consider social values and their place within modern Britain. I found the notion of an environment being assigned to inhabit a specific gender or set of behaviours an interesting concept. Approaching my subject matter with a sensitive eye, I hoped to strip back some of the stereotypical hard exterior that is often presented and proceed with a softer approach.
The body of work is made up of many visits to different locations in which I documented objects I found and the people I met. Normally avoiding the main focus or activity, I often found myself drawn to capture moments of calmness and serenity within often hectic settings.
Shaping an abstract narrative drawn from my own experiences within these environments, I aimed to highlight commonalities and juxtapositions that exist between these places.
From football disputes to world politics being labelled as expressions of hyper-masculinity, the term is very current and has been receiving a lot of debate. I wanted to add my voice. My aim was never to make overt statements, but rather raise questions and encourage a dialogue.
I don’t think the project is at all finished and I would still like to photograph a lot more environments and subcultures. I have also been thinking recently about a more socially engaged side to the work and have considered some sort of workshop or series of interviews.”