I created NOOK during my final year at Falmouth University; I obsessed over magazines such as Kinfolk and Oh Comely, so when we were asked to self-initiate a project I knew that the stack of magazines in my bedroom was a clear sign of what I had to do.
The idea for NOOK came about during the start of term when everyone started to obsess about moving to London after graduation because there was ‘no creative scene’ in Cornwall. I knew that this wasn’t true but it was so baffling how blind everyone was to the wealth of talent down here. This was a great gap in the market to create a product that introduced the world to the makers hidden in away in unexpected places – the underdogs.
Three months later, after lots of interviewing, organising, and rolls and rolls of film, NOOK was born. So what is NOOK?
NOOK is about independent makers hidden in the nooks and crannies of the world. The first issue is based in Cornwall and explores each artist’s life, getting to know them and the marks they make.
‘The marks they make’ – this was so important. There are so many magazines about craftspeople and artists that I wanted to create something with a different point of focus. After trawling through every magazine with a similar concept I could get my hands on, I found a trend. All interviews focused on the work, none focused on the artists themselves in any great detail. What do they love and hate, who do they admire, what are their habits? So this was my focus: Who are these people and what do their lives look like?
This came through in the interviews, however the most important thing for me was the visuals. The photography needed to fit with the theme so I explored the studios of the makers and took pictures of the messes, notes, corners of the rooms and collections of things on their desks.
I chose to shoot everything on 35mm purposely to fit with the raw style of the magazine. The grittiness of the film gave the perfect feel for what I was going for. I couldn’t be a hypocrite for this project; taking polished pictures and editing them felt like it disregarded everything NOOK was supposed to stand for. Nervously, I brought a roll to each studio, ran wild in the spaces and then waited for the results. Some were awful, some were great – it was perfect.