All Things Bleak & Beautiful Vol. 1 by Pete Hammond
Capturing the subtle comedy of the banal and urban sociology we spoke to UK photographer Pete Hammond on his recent photobook All Things Bleak & Beautiful Vol. 1. A contemporary archive of surreal banality.
Tell us more about yourself and your practice.
Last summer I had a week off of work and it poured and poured with rain, I decided to make the most of this and create my first project, a zine of photographs (scans are on my website) titled 'All Things Bleak and Beautiful. Vol 1'. Following this I exhibited my photographs in a small exhibition in Deptford. I am now preparing a book of my images, hoping to publish it and have a more in depth exhibition alongside it.
Each of my photographs is a moment that I have found to be visually beautiful in a dark yet funny way. Finding these bleak moments has become somewhat of a fun game that I play on my own as I explore my surroundings.
What was your creative process for this series or for your work in general?
I carry a camera with me wherever I go, capturing these little moments has become a game that I play on my own.
What work inspires or has inspired you?
I’ve been obsessed with Nan Goldin forever, I love the way her images are melancholic but have their own beauty.
Recently I’ve been drawn to Dash Snow’s book ‘I love you, stupid’ and Wim Wenders exhibition at The Photographer’s Gallery. Both are made up of Polaroid photographs, images that are a not necessarily ‘perfect’ recording of a passing moment.
Are there any artistic movements you enjoy in particular and why?
Readymade, I enjoy taking something that already exists and seeing it in a new way / giving it a new identity.
Do you have any opinions or ideals underlying your art?
Love this series! Can you tell us more about the banal humour you’ve captured in the work? Who would be your ideal publisher to publish the photobook? How hard is it to happen across these perfect moments?
The humour in my images is simply a reflection of how I see the world and my own personality, I believe that my sense of humour is present in each photograph. In the modern world I feel that everyone is so consumed with being perfect and presenting the best version of ourselves. My photographs are picking up on these less desirable moments and by using humour it hopefully gives a new identity / appeal.
If anyone wanted to publish my photo book, I would cry with joy.
London is ripe with these moments, I try to walk everywhere so I can continue to play the game. Sometimes I will go days without taking a photo that I’m actually proud, I don’t force it, I just let it happen.
Any words for aspiring artists?
Don’t be embarrassed. I often get shy when taking a photography on a busy street or with someone watching and it means I miss an opportunity, which is a shame.
Is there anything you’re currently working on?
I’m currently putting together a new photo book that I hope to have done by Easter. I plan to do a small exhibition to accompany the book.