26 Weeks Camera Challenge #17: Selflessness / by Simeon Smith

Simeon Smith - Making Faces.jpg

Something that stuck with me from a David Hurn talk I recently attended, was how he started out his collection of photography, just swapping photos with his friends and colleagues. He’d ask for a print, and give a print in return. There were a number of students in the room and he asked them, if they hadn’t already started collecting their classmate’s work, “Are you so disinterested in what they’re doing?”

Sometimes I spend so much time creating that I forget to consume other people’s creations. And when I do, it’s much more likely that I’d look at photos from the greats of the medium than from my friends, collaborators and co-conspirators.

And that affects us all.

We are what we eat, and it’s the simple principle of garbage in, garbage out. Consume brilliant creations, and your art will improve.

Fuck that, your LIFE will improve.

So this week, appreciate the art of others, your contemporaries, your friends.  Ask for copies of their work, or if you’re in a position to, ask to purchase copies of their work. If they have a workspace or display their work anywhere, go and visit. Go to an exhibition. Purchase a zine or photobook. Immerse yourself in art, but not the art of years bygone; Now art.


1.       How does contemporary art differ from historic art?

2.       What kind of community of artists have you surrounded yourself with?

3.       Do you feel connected to the art around you?

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