Gradwatch 2016: Kate Sturney

You may have spotted her headless girl on JCDecaux’s digital screens. Here’s what inspires fashion photographer Kate Sturney, who has just graduated from University of South Wales

CR: What lead you to study photography?

KS: Photography is a great format of expressing emotion through visual materials. After doing a shoot, i feel somewhat proud of the idea that what may be seen in one person’s eyes, could mean something the complete opposite in another. Part of the beauty in photography is the endless interpretations taken from it, one of the reasons why i love to study this subject.
Photograph by Kate Sturney
Photograph by Kate Sturney
CR: What’s the craziest thing you had to do when taking a photograph?  
KS: I’ve had many near death experiences from lying in the middle of the road to standing on the top of high buildings. The craziest time was when I spotted the most amazing shadow falling diagonally across a mechanic’s garage. He was in there fixing a car with a customer, I looked at my model and she gave me ‘the nod’ so i politely asked him if he could stop his work for me to use the location as a backdrop for my picture. We had all the mechanics and it’s customers staring at us whilst me and my model did our own thing to get the shot. Sometime you’ve just got to go out of your way and everyone else’s to get the best!
Photograph by Kate Sturney
Photograph by Kate Sturney
CR: Has any photographer or artist in particular influenced your style of work?
KS: During a lot of my university studies, Viviane Sassen played a vital part influencing my work. I analysed her work in every aspect and took a leap from photographing straight-forward, still posture and explored more movement and life in my pictures. I think I will always have a bit of Sassen in the back of my mind when I am photographing, she encouraged me to push my ideas, where i came to establish the new series of my work ‘I AM’ which explores the movement in finding and loosing yourself.
Photograph by Kate Sturney
Photograph by Kate Sturney
CR: What’s keeping you busy now that you have graduated?  
KS: I’m working a lot now – student loans and overdraft seem to have taken their toll on my bank balance! In the meantime, I’m using this time after graduating to ground myself. I’ve got some up and coming projects with clothing line’s in Cardiff which I am excited about, I love collaborating with young people and new brands because there are always fresh ideas floating around.
Photograph by Kate Sturney
Photograph by Kate Sturney
CR: Your dream project, what would it be?
KS: I think my dream project would be something to do with colour. I have an obsession with colours either clashing or everything in one image being the same colour. I imagine photographing a male model surrounded by nothing but pink…pink furniture, pink walls, pink fashion…the lot! I love working with current problems in society and putting to the test how uncomfortable things can be on the eye. The idea of a masculine body in it’s most feminine form sounds like it could stir up an opinion or two!!
Kate talentspotting
Kate Sturney’s photograph that was part of our 2016 Talentspotting initiative

Sturney is one of the 11 graduates whose work has been selected by us to appear on JCDecaux digital screens all over the UK, including at major railway stations, shopping centres and roadways as a part of CR’s Talentspotting scheme.

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