My current work is primarily concerned with exploring the human condition in terms of the socio-political and economic environment and the effects that has on people at large. I make carefully constructed images which are designed in series to express subtle views in a way not possible with a single image as seen, for example, in the series: “of our times: the price of money” where complex information and questions communicated about a man and his priorities, his family, the way he treats them, the way they feel leading ultimately to the breakdown of a relationship and the feelings of those involved. Subtle details in my work are extremely important to understanding and extracting information. This technique was again used in the series “the state we’re in” where the target was the state of society in general with comments on illegal eavesdropping, societal control, injustice and media manipulation. I find myself driven to comment on these things because I care deeply about them. My work challenges, questions and fuels debate, is often direct; occasionally brutal, sometimes sympathetic and at other times shocking but it is always designed to raise awareness of contemporary issues and to challenge perceptions in those that view it.
CV & Education
Nigel Tooby lives and works in Wakefield, West Yorkshire and from his base there undertakes work assignments all over the UK.
He joined the Royal Photographic Society in 2009 and gained his Licentiate in 2010. He was awarded Associateship of the Society (Contemporary Panel) for a submission drawn from his project (formerly under the working title "Mi Familia") "We" (2016) which is an intimate monochrome documentary of family life and was made a Fellow of the Society (Contemporary Panel, 2012) for his book “of our times: the price of money”.
That project marked a major departure in his photographic style which, until that point, had specialised in contemporary travel, documentary and reportage photography. This led him to explore images which were pre-designed, staged, then intricately set and linked together to communicate information in a way which a single image cannot.
Accordingly, his style encompasses contemporary and documentary work as well as staged images designed for specific purposes. Much of his most recent work is created in series whereby images are carefully designed and made to comprise a single work in many parts. He is also producing work which utilises found and other materials as well as various ways of presenting images which add a further creative dimension to the work, as seen in series like “Eye Spy”, parts of which question the usual boundaries of what can be considered to be “photography” in its accepted sense.
His 2014 book, “The State we’re in” was shortlisted for the inaugural RPS international photobook competition and exhibited at Bath the same year. In 2016 he completed his latest photobook offering, “We”, drawn from the extended series “Mi Familia”. Meanwhile “Eye Spy”, created for the Simon on the Streets 2015 calendar, continues to stun audiences with outings in Harrogate, London, Bath, Wakefield and most recently at a one-day GEM Housing event in Bradford. He is currently working on a new short series concerning contemporary portraiture “Cutting edge portraiture and where to find it”.
Nigel’s work has been featured four times in Contemporary Photography Journal (Spring 2017, Summer 2013, Winter 2014, Autumn 2014) and a further article appeared in Contemporary Times (Feb 2014).
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