In the run up to the opening of the Night-Time Economy exhibition in Newport April 6th 2016, Ben Glover of the Wales Arts Review has interviewed Kate Mercer and I on our collaboration. The full interview is here http://www.walesartsreview.org/24536/
"Welcome Kate and Steven, I was hoping initially to find out a little bit about your project The Night-Time Economy. What drew you both to explore the night-time economy?
SJ Fowler: For me, it was meeting Kate, and discovering her work when visiting Newport for a poetry reading last year. I believe collaborations fundamentally grow from relationships between people, creative friendships, and a desire to see them grow, and the concept or direction comes as a secondary focus. Undoubtedly what became the subject of our eventual collaboration emerged from experiences I’d had in years past, things that have shaped my experience in much wider ways, but none of this would’ve been actualised into this exhibition without it being a shared point of contact between Kate and I.
Kate Mercer: I have to concur with Steven. It started from a shared experience that Steven and I found we had much to talk about and identify with. When we began discussing the respective roads we’ve since travelled, for example, pursuing poetry and photography as our careers, it struck us both how pivotal these experiences had been on us as individuals, but equally how far apart these two mediums are with regard to how they communicate with others, either explicitly, emotionally or figuratively. Whilst the experiences, anecdotes and observations we have shared have been helpful through out his project, it has as much as anything been an exploration of the capabilities and limitations of the others’ medium, developing a creative partnership therewith.
How to you think that previously working in this environment has influenced this project?
SJF: I think working in such environments changes your perception. This is true of all work perhaps, that one gains new perspectives when you are present for money and not pleasure. And Britain’s nightlife, it’s social culture, is extraordinarily intense. I think witnessing that intensity, the release people seek in such environments, has formed the underlying impetus for the whole project – because I think we’re not trying to document, nor judge, nor comment even, but rather encapsulate this intensity and its ambiguities.