A recent shocking discovery: Grace’s mother was considering naming her Paige. ‘I’m glad she never did,’ says Grace. ‘My surname is Forty. Think about it… Paige Forty. Not good!’
Grace is quite the Vogue reader: ‘I buy it every month and each issue is piled on top of the ever-growing Vogue stack that I use as a bedside table,’ she says. ‘It’s very effective…’
Grace’s parents bought a new puppy recently. ‘I have an actual written plan of how I’m going to smuggle him out of their house and bring him back to London with me in a suitcase,’ she explains. ‘All I need is time…’
I’m originally from Dorset, from a village called Piddletrenthide in The Piddle Valley (seriously!). Nine times out of ten, people don’t believe me when I tell them this, so much so that when I moved away to uni I had to have an atlas in my room to prove it. Thank God for Google Street view nowadays…
I did an art foundation degree at the Univeristy of Gloucester, and then went onto Plymouth Uni to complete my degree in Photography.
University was one of the best times of my life (cheesy I know, but it’s true!) – especially my final year. It totally changed me as a person and made me who I am today. I fell in love with photography (especially film photography) whilst I was there. Having dabbled in the darkroom in my sixth form day, the freedom I was given while at university to experiment and explore with all of the different materials and resources made my love for photograhy even more great. I also became obsessed with lomography , thanks to an ex-boyfriend giving me my first lomo camera he decided he no longer wanted, the fool!
I specialise in fashion and documentary photography and particularly enjoy the subtleties that can be achieved in social documentary that allow the viewer to create their own stories and ideas about the images.
What inspires your work?
I would say the biggest influence in my work are the people around me and how they live their lives. I am facinated by looking at everyday things and situations, but with a different view and perspective, quite literally. I like to photograph from different and obscure angles. You can usually find me bent over double with my bum in the air, camera to the face trying to snap someones knobbly knees.
What is your favourite piece of work you have created?
My favourite body of work is the series where I documented the everyday lives of the three girls I lived with at university, simply called The Girls.
We all became best friends over the years and nothing seemed to bother us or became a problem. I documented this relationship with a brutal honesty focusing on activities that took place in the house, such as bathing, drying hair and applying make-up. Simple yet pretty effective. My favourite piece of work would have to be my postcard image from this series called Head Over Bath.
A massive influence of mine throughout this work was Nan Goldin. I love the way she shoots the people around her and the trust and beauty this brings out in the images.
Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?
I couldn’t say who my all time favourite photographer is. It’s just too hard. So here are a random four… Nan Goldin, Mario Testino, Ryan McGinly and Bert Stern. Of the four, I think Ryan McGinly is my favourite. I love the trust the subjects of his images have in him and his work. Each photograh tells a unique story and they completely absorb me. The mixture of subtle details, beautiful colours and the sense of fun makes them absolute favourites.
All images © Grace Forty. To view the images more clearly, click on them.