Tasha Doughty’s photography collection book, The Colour Wheel, is out today and she has spared a few moments to sit down with me to discuss her new project!
It is impossible to even attempt to summarise or box Tasha Doughty; her style is fiercely individual, from her long silver dreadlocks and classic black dress, to her many tattoos and piercings.
This eclectic mix of styles appears to have greatly influenced her work. Tasha’s “Colour Wheel” project focuses on bringing diversity and eclecticism to the forefront and redefining what can be considered beautiful.
Her work is visually breathtaking and, though the project is still ongoing, it has already received great critical responses. Tasha’s genuine passion for her project and what it represents makes her work both truly captivating and believable.
Today I want to learn who, and what, has most influenced Tasha’s work and how she came up with the concept of “The Colour Wheel”.
TL: When did you develop a real interest in photography?
TD: I have always been a creative person. At school, I really enjoyed the arts and painting portraits, hence my keen interest in portraiture photography. I became really interested in photography in my final years of school, at around the age of 15.
I began to look into further education courses in photography, which lead me to apply to study for a national diploma at South Nottingham College. I really fell in love with photography at college. I studied there for 2 years and in this time I was able to travel and further develop photographic skills. The feedback for my work from peers and tutors was also really positive and encouraged me to continue to study and practice the art of photography.
TL: Who/what are some of your major influences?
TD: I am mostly influenced by fashion photographers. I really admire Tim Walker, obviously. I also love Nick Knight; I was able to visit one of his photography exhibitions in Paris, while I was at college in 2011. How he incorporates his extreme artistic flair within his pictures is incredibly influential.
I am also currently really interested in, and influenced by, other cultures. I love travelling and also have a diverse mix of friends from a variety of cultural and economic backgrounds. We are all just really passionate about loving each other, as fucking hippy as that sounds!
TL: So, how did you come up with the concept of “The Colour Wheel”?
TD: It actually came really naturally. I’m not sure whether I should admit that, but it was sort of a happy accident. During my third year at university, all I really knew was that I wanted to work in the studio; I had spent the penultimate year on location, so I really wanted to get back in the studio, where I excel, for my last year.
I really wasn’t sure on the direction that I was going to take, though. It wasn’t until my interim critique when my tutor forced me to put my project into words, where I was really able to articulate the aims and goals of my project. After that I decided to create match pair groups and developed the idea of “The Colour Wheel”.
“The Colour Wheel” is essentially a collection of images that act to symbolise equality and a unity between people of different genders and cultural backgrounds. Usually, the type of models I used would be placed in urban landscapes, in front of a wall of graffiti etc. I wanted to challenge this expectation by experimenting with models that might otherwise be considered “alternative” and place them in a much more classic setting.
Recently, some fortunate members of the public were able to view Tasha’s work at the Middlesex University Arts Exhibition in Shoreditch, London.
TL: How did your exhibition go?
TD: It went really well! It was bitter-sweet though, as I am also really sad that university is over. But the exhibition was really fun; it ran between 6th – 9th June and on Fridays industry night, I even got to see Tim Walker.
The feedback from my work was really positive. It really means a lot when strangers, who have no loyalty to me and don’t have to protect my feelings, say such amazing things. It just boosts your confidence and encourages you to continue.
TL: What are your future goals and aspirations?
TD: I am continuing to work on my “Colour Wheel” project and look to include more people from different cultural backgrounds. I would also really enjoy documentary photography and would like to do more of this. I have previously done a project in Vietnam, so would like to combine my passion for travelling with location photography.
“An idea that started as a simple set of stylised portraits soon evolved into something more, something that made me want to include gender, different cultural backgrounds and different style choices. A combination of these ideas has resulted in ‘The Colour Wheel’ project, a project I am continuing, which is intended to show that everyone is beautiful regardless of socio-economic demographics.
I have always had a passion for portraiture of all kinds. I have always wanted to fuse different ideas together, with vibrant colours and eccentric styles, to create something visually beautiful, which also demonstrates eclecticism.”
Tasha Doughty’s photography collection is out now and you can purchase pieces of her work, including her book, postcards and posters here.
TL: What can people expect to find in your book?
TD: All of the images that were on display at the exhibition are included in the book. There is also an exclusive blooper reel, which highlights the fact that, though the images and models are beautiful, we are all human; we are all silly at times – that’s just reality.