IPE 160 - Selector Q&A - Sian Davey

16 May 2017

Region: South West

Sian Davey is a photographer with a background in Fine Art and Social Policy and has recently completed her MA and MFA in photography at Plymouth University. For the past 15 years she has worked as a psychotherapist. Her work is an investigation of the psychological landscapes of both herself and those around her with her family and community being central to her practice.

Sian is the author of the photo-book Looking for Alice, published by Trolley Books (2015) and her work has been featured in the New York Times, The Financial Times Magazine, The Guardian, Marie Claire and Ojodepez magazine, and has been exhibited internationally. Sian is represented by Michael Hoppen Gallery.


Q: What excites you about photography?

A: The possibilities. I am continually amazed about its potential to communicate all aspects of the human psyche and reveal what we choose not to see.

Q: What makes an image stand out?

A: My starting point is I want to return back to the image. I want to feel something about what I see. So I guess there needs to be some felt relationship between the image and me. It needs to feel authentic that the work is driven by both the heart and mind.

Q: What advice would you offer an entrant trying to decide which images to submit to The IPE 160?

A: Perhaps select an image that makes you feel something and then it's likely that it will affect others. Ask people around you to respond to your selection and be curious to what they choose to share.

Q: Why do you think IPE is still relevant in its 160th year?

A: The RPS IPE offers the opportunity to gain great exposure as an emerging photographer, and is inclusive of the diverse range of genres within the practice. It offers a great chance to have your work viewed by an influential and established panel, and, if successful, for the work to be seen by thousands with The RPS' touring exhibition. It is also relatively affordable to enter compared to many photographic contests, as well as being organised by an established photographic body that can be trusted, reassuring during our age of technology where authenticity can be uncertain.

Q: Whose photographic work do you admire?

A: Always a difficult question because I am just as much influenced by painting, film, and sculpture as much as by photography. But having said that, I am shooting in Kolkata next week and am discovering wonderful artists such as Poulomi Basu, Vasantha Yogananthan and Soham Gupta.

Click here for more information on IPE160 and to enter your work.