United Kingdom


“It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Why are we told to believe stability is desirable? History has proved that everything is temporary. The only thing which has proved permanent is, in fact, instability. Why not accept and embrace instability? The series LetGo is an ode to that uncertainty, to the moment where we leave our comfort zone. The moment in which forward is the only way possible. The moment we decide to put our faith in the future.

Gordon Spooner’s earliest photo album is from when he was around 10 years old portraying holiday snaps in black and white, taken with a Kodak Instamatic. Places he had been, the pet tortoise and steam trains. He learned to develop black and white film aged around 16 years old. Gordon’s parents didn’t consider photography to be a “proper job” so the artist decided to study cartography in London instead. Spooner claims to have watched European movies alone at the Essential on Wardour Street, where he discovered Nicolas Roeg, Luis Buñuel and French cinema. Early into his studies, Gordon realised that cartography wasn’t going to keep him interested for very long which led him to apply for work at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Spooner wanted to make movies that had inspired him and quickly learned cinematography in Paris. He continued taking photographs of models for their portfolios, however, modelling agencies thought his pictures weren’t happy enough, so he switched to taking portraits of his friends instead. The thread in everything Spooner has ever done is the suggestion of a narrative. He wants his photographs to resemble the movies that marked him. The photos that impressed him are hidden in the fabric of the hundreds of films he has shot: “Films have influenced my photography; my photography influenced the way I shoot films. I’m interested in a present, a moment, that suggests a before and an after, that forces the viewer to invent the story that the image belongs to… Sometimes I want to put subtitles on my photographs.” Spooner


Gordon Spooner (UK) "LetGo" - Helphoto 2020
Gordon Spooner (UK) "LetGo" - Helphoto 2020