Anna Sampson is a London-based fine art photographer originally from Liverpool. She graduated last year with a series of portraits entitled ‘Gender Trouble’. Her practice explored the territory of gendered stereotypes by examining and questioning orthodox concepts and definitions of gender identity. When Anna reached out to introduced herself, I was very pleased to get the chance to talked with her about her work.
KALTLBUT: First of all tell us about your creative background – when did you first start photography/what really pushed you to do so?
Anna: I was a painter initially, and it wasn’t until the final year of my degree that photography became the fore-front of my practice. It was about two years ago that I sneaked into CSM’s darkroom with a friend’s help – as Chelsea didn’t have one, nor the means for me to access one. He showed me how to process and print my film and I guess I’ve never looked back from there. I grew too impatient for painting as I could never see a painting through to the end and was never happy enough with the results. With photography however, I still find the process stimulating and ultimately very rewarding.
KALTLBUT: You recently graduated from the Fine Art BA at Chelsea College of Arts last year, where the central focus of your work was a series of portraits entitled ‘Gender Trouble’. Can you tell us a bit more about this specific project.
Anna: Gender Trouble coincided with my dissertation – which was a study on fetishistic scopophilia and the female gaze. I studied the active/passive binary within film theory and practice, paying particular attention to how women are often objectified, sexualised and fetishised in the eyes of the male. Gender Trouble, is my way of addressing and challenging this notion as to merge and blend gendered cliches and stereotypes. I’m ultimately hoping to free gender from it’s bipolar shackles, proving it’s not just male or female, black or white, etc. I want women to be seen not as the passive sex, but as equals.