20 episodes

Photo Director Gem Fletcher hosts The Messy Truth, a podcast dedicated to the world of contemporary photography featuring exclusive interviews with emerging and leading artists, curators and critics. Listen in to these candid conversations that unpack photography and why it connects us all in such transformational ways. Follow Gem’s Instagram @gemfletcher for images of photographs discussed in each episode.

The Messy Truth Gem Fletcher

    • Visual Arts
    • 5.0, 42 Ratings

Photo Director Gem Fletcher hosts The Messy Truth, a podcast dedicated to the world of contemporary photography featuring exclusive interviews with emerging and leading artists, curators and critics. Listen in to these candid conversations that unpack photography and why it connects us all in such transformational ways. Follow Gem’s Instagram @gemfletcher for images of photographs discussed in each episode.

    Shaniqwa Jarvis - On Storytelling

    Shaniqwa Jarvis - On Storytelling

    Recorded remotely on 31st May 2020 during lockdown, Gem chats to leading photographer and artist Shaniqwa Jarvis, best known for her fusion of modern fashion aesthetics with sensitive and emotional portraiture. Her approach captures vivid reality across a wide range of subjects, each frame imbued with profound optimism. 


    In this conversation, we explore how Shaniqwa found photography, how she entered the creative industry at the turn of the century and all she had to overcome to be the iconic artist she is today. She pressed on through an industry that still to this day is rife with systemic racism and sexism, creating space, not only for herself but for the next generation. She brings focus to the institutional changes urgently needed to ensure the value and worth of new Black and Brown photographers remains intact. She asks, "If there is no worth put on black lives, so how in turn is there suppose to be worth on black art?” We learn about Social Studies, the mentoring program she co-founded for Black and Brown photographers that connects youth communities to creators through curated programming. We explore her collaborations with brands like Adidas, SNS, The Standard Hotels Group and Supreme and what this aspect of her practice means to her. We find out about her sold out self-titled monograph, which documents two decades of her practice and how it shifted the perception and awareness of her work on a global scale. We discuss her joy of collaboration, why portraiture is such a deeply personal endeavour for her and hear about her recent shoot with Erykah Badu.


    Follow @sheekswinsalways on Instagram and visit shaniqwajarvis.com to see her wider portfolio. Shaniqwa is represented by IMG Lens. Follow Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram and Twitter. If you've enjoyed this episode PLEASE leave us your feedback and maybe 5 stars if we're worthy in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth, we will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com
     
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    • 1 hr
    Georgie Wileman - On Emotion

    Georgie Wileman - On Emotion

    Georgie Wileman is a portrait and Documentary photographer focusing on social injustice. Her work highlights our internalised lives, the struggles we live with mentally, physically and emotionally.


    What may appear dark at first glance is more about enlightenment. Georgie’s photography seeks to educate audiences on urgent human struggles that often go unseen, while in turn enabling her subjects to feel validated in their suffering.


    Gem Fletcher talks to Georgie Wileman about her process and what it takes to capture such vivid emotions.


    @georgiewileman
    georgiewileman.com


    Recorded in London, UK
    Edited by John Webb
    Music by Judd Greenstein – Change from Awake
    Design by Ruby Wight
     
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    • 39 min
    Micaiah Carter - On Collaboration

    Micaiah Carter - On Collaboration

    Micaiah Carter's stylised photographs have graced magazines, screens and billboards capturing icons, past and present with his unique blend of 90’s maximalism and 70’s hues.


    He is clear about his intentions as an image-maker – wanting the work to be a quality platform for the representation of people of colour that hasn’t been seen before. What I love about his photographs is how they emanate a powerful hybrid of joy and resilience.


    Gem Fletcher chats to Micaiah Carter about collaboration, identity and popular culture.
    This conversation was recorded in November 2019.


    https://micaiahcarter.com/
    @micaiahcarter


    Micaiah is also part of See In Black, a collective of Black photographers who uplift and invest in Black visibility. Through the sale of highly-curated prints from Black photographers, we raise funds that support five key pillars of Black advancement: civil rights, education/arts, intersectionality, community building, and criminal justice reform.


    https://seeinblack.com/
    @seeinblackproject


    Recorded in London, UK
    Edited by John Webb
    Music by Judd Greenstein – Change from Awake
    Design by Ruby Wight
     
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    • 48 min
    Leonard Suryajaya - on Resilience

    Leonard Suryajaya - on Resilience

    Leonard Suryajaya uses his work to speak profoundly to the challenges of being an outsider, and the deep complexity of navigating identities. He embeds his life experiences into every facet of his work, testing the boundaries of intimacy, community and identity. His subjects, often family, friends and lovers, work in a kind of absurd theatre within the frame.


    Viewing Suryajaya’s work is an emotional experience. The photographs are disarming, intense and even over stimulating at times. The chaos he conjures feels entirely appropriate for our times. As our world continues to be in flux, his images provide a strange comfort in their authenticity.


    Gem Fletcher talks to Leonard Suryajaya about resilience, collaboration and how the act of creating gives him joy and freedom.


    @leonardsuryajaya
    http://www.leonardsuryajaya.com/


    Recorded in London, UK
    Edited by John Webb
    Music by Judd Greenstein – Change from Awake
    Design by Ruby Wight
     
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    • 37 min
    Arielle Bobb-Willis - On Adversity

    Arielle Bobb-Willis - On Adversity

    Born and raised in New York City, with pit stops in South Carolina and New Orleans, photographer Arielle Bobb-Willis has been using the camera for nearly a decade as a tool of empowerment. Battling with depression from an early age, Bobb-Willis found solace behind the lens and has developed a visual language that speaks to the complexities of life: the beautiful, the strange, belonging, isolation, and connection. Inspired by masters like Jacob Lawrence and Benny Andrews, Bobb-Willis applies a ‘painterly’ touch to her photography by documenting people in compromising and disjointed positions as to highlight these complexities.


    Toting the line between fashion and contemporary art, her use of is therapeutic and speaks to a desire to claim power and joy in moments of sadness, confusion or confinement. Her photographs are all captured in urban and rural cities, from the South to North, East to West. Bobb-Willis travels throughout the US as a way of finding ‘home’ in any grassy knoll, or city sidewalk, reminding us to stay connected and grounded during life’s transitional moments.
     
    Gem Fletcher talks to Arielle Bobb-Willis about her relationship to the medium, facing adversity and the realities of being a young image-maker working today.
     
    https://ariellebobbwillis.com/
    @ariellebobbwillis


    Recorded in London, UK
    Edited by John Webb
    Music by Judd Greenstein – Change from Awake
    Design by Ruby Wight
     
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    • 35 min
    Eva O'Leary - On Process

    Eva O'Leary - On Process

    Eva O’Leary has been producing photographs in and around her hometown of Central Pennsylvania, ironically nicknamed Happy Valley. Gaining access to college parties, dorm rooms, and proms and other social spaces of those in the midst of pivotal coming of age moments, O’Leary examines individual vulnerability in these transitional times. Her work explores intimate moments to deftly confront power dynamics as it falls along gendered lines, especially within the lives of adolescents.


    Eva’s work navigates structural and social systems that perpetuate ideologies of fantasy, power and control within American society, specifically focused on the impact on young women and their experience in the world. Her work is deeply personal, using her own experiences, memories and journals as the foundation of her practise.
     
    We recorded this episode in early April 2020 during the Covid 19 pandemic, which was bringing up many questions about the role and purpose of art and creative work for both of us. This inevitably ended up being a core part of our conversation because how could it not be.
     
    Gem Fletcher talks to Eva O’Leary about process, growth and how art can be both therapy and liberation.


    evaoleary.com
    @evaoleary


    Recorded in London, UK
    Edited by John Webb
    Music by Judd Greenstein – Change from Awake
    Design by Ruby Wight
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

Tuluming ,

Raw, honest and excellent interview.

Very powerful insight into the critically important subjects that Georgie Wileman chooses to work on. I found it very moving as her projects are based on personal experiences, making the work even more enlightening and at its core a show of utmost bravery in facing her own trauma. Excellently interviewed by Gemma Fletcher. Thank you

MickBuston ,

Came for Jack Davison, stayed for the rest.

Knew Gem Fletchers name but didn’t know her work until listening to this amazing podcast. Listen to quite a few photography / arts related and this is one of the most interesting straying away from the usual questions and probing more deeply into topics less covered.
Less traditional guests, intelligent questioning and allowing space for responses, this I hope is a format more podcasts hosts will adopt.
Bravo

Slyspop ,

Great find

Just came across this podcast through Jem’s instagram profile and binge listened to three episodes. Really enjoyable and insughtful.

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