Monday, 13 April 2009

Interview: Xtina Lamb

Xtina Lamb
Title of works:
Pea Fritter
Summer Mist

Where do you live?
Finsbury Park, North London

When was the work that's in the show taken?
Pea Fritter was taken 23rd November, 2000, in my car after the traditional trip to Pete's Fish Factory on arrival in Margate. Summer Mist was taken on 2nd June 2007, from the harbour arm.

What were you doing in Margate that day? I've been to Margate many times with Iain Aitch, who grew up there. It's rare that we'd arrive in the car without immediately eating pea fritters and chips from Pete's. Often we'd go over to the car park and eat them in the company of scary looking hungry gulls, while watching the sea. We were in Margate to visit Iain's family, or he was writing an article about something local.

What made you take the pictures?
The pea fritter is just funny. You don't see them anywhere other than seaside towns it seems, and I wanted to document this golden battered delicacy. I sometimes like taking photos of things that have become a regular part of my life. This pea fritter was my treat for having driven us to Margate. I think they're delicious.

We saw the mist driving along the sea front on a hot summers day. I had to stop and take photographs as it was so unusual - the opposite of the pea fritter photo and nearly the same place. The mist was really beautiful and eerie, rolling in over the beach. Iain was wandering about on the jetty and I kept him in the shot as I liked the strong shadows contrasting with the soft mist. Looking at it now, I enjoy how he's observing Margate from a distance and it all looks a bit dreamlike and unreal.

Why did you put them in the Margate UK flickr group?
I have a great fondness for Margate and Thanet. People who don't know the place (and those who do) often have negative things to say about it. The Flickr group is a good place to show what I like about Margate. I want people to share some of my affection for it.

I've made some very lovely real world friends because of the photos I've shared on Flickr. Partly it's about trying to be a better photographer or artist and getting encouragement from people, but also it's a place to share things that other people are interested in, and to have fun with images. You can tell a lot about someone by their Flickr photos - how they see the world, their sense of humour and what's meaningful to them.

Have you exhibited before?
Not photographs, though I've shown my art and printmaking work. Two more of my photos have been picked for another Flickr group show in London this May 'Londonist Presents: Slow Exposure'.

How have you found being part of Glimpse 2009?
I'm enjoying being in such great company! I wasn't able to make the opening though and don't think I'll be able to go down to see the show in person, and I'm sad about that. The leap from online community to exhibition is exciting, and I would've loved to have met the other people involved, especially in Margate.

What do you think about Margate?
I love so many things about the place: the Shell Grotto, Walpole Bay Hotel, Northdown Road, the Lido obelisk, Mad Hatter Cafe, the chalk graffiti... but have been shocked by the effect of Westwood Cross, Turner Centre, and the decline of Dreamland. It's an edgy place, with tensions, stigmas, problems and from what I can see - a worse than useless council. But it's also very beautiful for those who care to look, and has a tough, wilful character. I hope to see it enjoy a new heyday in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment