Ajamu fine art photography
“We want to present our stories as thy are, as they have been seen through our own eyes and as we have experienced them ourselves. Our lives cannot be separated from, nor closely aligned with, either the gay or Black experience. We create and we navigate a unique path through history. The complexities of our experience can be reduced and simplified to position us as victims, to fetishise our choices and sensationalise our lives. Therefore we must take control and tell our own stories in this critical decade”
Ajamu is a fine art photographic artist, archive curator and radical sex activist. His theoretical provocations, political, ethical concerns and aesthetics alludes to a way of being – a playful yet serious photographic politic which unapologetically celebrates the body, the erotic, desire, pleasure and difference.
Over the past couple of years, he has re-engaged with analogue early -photographic printing processes in particular Platinum/Palladium printing, Salt, prints and most recently Albumen prints in a quest to return to the materiality and physicality of the print.
He works exclusively in black and white film (5 x 4, 10 x 8) shoot straight, crop within the frame and without re-touching. What the viewer sees is what he saw when he looked through the ground glass, which is a complex interpretation of an encounter between photographer-sitter-object.
Ajamu favours traditional, simplified symmetrical composition, with sensuous focused lighting and mainly working with dark-tones on the grey scale. Serious care is taken with how the work is printed and framed towards achieving the desired affect. He generally shoots from slightly below; looking up at the sitter; against uncluttered backgrounds this is to convey depth, and beauty and the power of each portrait, self-portrait or nude.