LOVE and WARdrobe

Brighton's Got Talent: Kat McCarthy Photography

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A camera can’t survive without being charged, and a photographer can’t survive without the right settings. As Brighton is the graduate town of famous photographers including Christopher King, resident photographer at the Tower of London, and Jacqueline King, the British Photographer of the Year 2006, it’s not surprising many photographers choose to charge their artistic batteries in Brighton. Shooting from across the country to snap up the creative vibes, many up-and-coming artists, designers and photographers are joining Brighton University to kick-start their careers and unleash their talents, including photography graduate Kat McCarthy. Kat specialises in photographic manipulations, creating beautiful and mystifying shots inspired by the film-maker and photographer Floria Sigismondi, who has also directed videos for Björk, Marilyn Manson and Christina Aguilera.

Pictured are some of her most recent works, in which she uses stock photographs (where models pose in neutral backgrounds to allow for photographers to manipulate the photo how they see it), to display the destructiveness of society. Blistered the Man displays the transcendence of societal-inflicted emotional turmoil onto the physicality of a man’s body., in which a man attempts to cover his face, but is scarred by the corrosive nature of a post-modern society. Kat wished to reflect how technology is taking over nature, wherein nothing is left without an online identity, which is slowly eating into mankind’s beauty.

Choices of a Geisha, is a stunning shot from the same series, which reflects how those who are regarded as beautiful are often exploited. A geisha lays in turmoil; no matter which way she turns, she is surrounded by objectification. What is so haunting about this particular shot is how representative it is of beauty ideals worldwide; often those who are regarded as the pinnacles of beauty are the ones who suffer the most at the hand of it (we only have to look at Marilyn Monroe to see evidence for this).

Kat uses inspiration from those around her to create her artwork, which was a central reason for her move from Basingstoke, an industrial town, to Brighton, a town often regarded as one of diversity and cultural acceptance, as well as beautiful photographical locations such as the Pavilion, the Laines (a series of independent shops), and, of course, the beach.

Her next project is to be based on Alice in Wonderland, furthering her more sinister side to photography. Now she has graduated, she is planning to create her own dark room, so hopefully Brighton will have yet another great photographer to add to its ever-growing alumni.