As part of our partnership with Art on a Postcard’s ‘Photo on Postcard’ project, After Nyne meets Art on a Postcard’s Director Gemma Peppe. We wanted to find out more about this fascinating phase in Art on a Postcard’s story, which will be part of Photo London’s latest edition (17 – 20 May)
Gemma what makes this edition of Photography on a Postcard different to its previous editions?
This is our second Photography on a Postcard event and I like to think that the first was a dry run for this one. The event was conceived with Photo London in mind. A friend of mine Jonathon Massey came up with the idea after attending our sister event Art on a Postcard. It was one of those things that you wonder why you’ve never thought of it yourself. Dougie Wallace asked Martin Parr to get involved, the publishers Dewi Lewis and Caroline Warhust invited their roster plus theprintspace provided a platform for us to accept the entries via theHUB and then exhibit them, so we immediately had an impeccable pedigree behind us.
What made you want to work with Photo London?
Photo London is the fast becoming the Frieze of the photography world. The photography market is quite a young one and the UK art world has been late to adopt it. Fariba Farshad and Michael Benson, the founders and directors of the fair, identified this massive hole in the market and have more than plugged it. There are 90 something satellite events going on this year and the work at Photo London itself is outstanding. I feel there’s a magnanimity about the fair, the directors and even the setting. Somerset House was a government building for much of the 20th century and it’s use now as a hub for the arts is not only exactly what London needs, but the perfect place to showcase an art form which deserves the attention it’s getting now thanks to Photo London.
What do you think is responsible for Art on a Postcard’s success?
Our success is down to the artists. They all take such care to reproduce what they normally do but in miniature. All of the artists are hand-picked so the standard is consistently high and interesting. We go for quality and not celebrity, and we are particularly interested in emerging artists so art lovers discover new talent among our events. I also think it’s successful because of the secret element, all the artists are democratised and the really talented painters and photographers shine. Interestingly one of the biggest sellers each year is my father, who is a fantastic painter and pretty much unknown.
How do you select the artists you work with?
Artists who take part have to be making their living from selling art. We accept some work from artists who apply to us directly but only if their work is up to standard, and by that I mean stand up against Royal Academicians and other internationally renowned artists. We also accept work from very talented students, mostly notably Amy May George who had a sold out show before she entered Central St Martins and now has some celebrity collectors. The photographers are mostly all professional photographers with galleries and agents otherwise it wouldn’t work. We do hold an open call that gives new talent a chance to show their work alongside photographic legends like Bruce Gilden so it’s not a closed shop.
What has been your favourite project to date?
Whichever project I’m working on is always my favourite.
Who have been your career inspirations?
That’s not a question I’ve ever thought about. I was a single mother with an illness much all of my adult life so I didn’t really have a big choice in what I did or have any kind of idea of a career trajectory. I’ve just done whatever comes next.
Which artwork would you like to own?
If you mean out of the photographs? I’m lucky enough to have a few Dougie Wallace’s, I’ve worked with him a lot of projects over the last few years and he’s been very generous with his work. I’d love the Bruce Gilden, Anja Carr’s and the Alma Haser and there is also a photograph which came in via the open call by someone called Delany Allen which I could totally live with.
What can we expect from AOAP for the rest of the year?
After Photo London we are back at The Other Art Fair in Bristol with a Street Art vs Street Photography Auction and another Harland Miller print release. We’ve got a project with Ben Eine and Ibiza Rocks that will taking place throughout the summer, September will see a collaboration with Pikes, Ibiza – Ibiza on a Postcard and then we’ve got our big Art on a Postcard Secret Auction in November at the end of the year.
Where can people go to find more information?
You can go to our website www.artonapostcard.com but the best thing do is to sign up to our newsletter, in that way whether you’re an artist wanting to know when the next open call is or a customer wanting to buy the next Harland Miller print you will never miss out.