MEET THE PHOTOGRAPHER

Dana Mendonca

Studied Digital Photography at London South Bank University - (Bachelor of Arts)

My interest in socially engaged projects led me to become a Co-Researcher on a two-year project Tate Encounters: Britishness and Visual Culture at Tate Britain. I produced audio-visual work based on research and interactions with Tate's collections, published creative articles on Tate Britain's website and collaborated with other artists and anthropologists. The aim of the project was to develop new curatorial and educational perspectives relevant to wider and more culturally diverse audiences with the aim of establishing changes within the Museum and Galleries sector. This project culminated in series of exhibitions, interviews and discussions at Tate Britain.

My creative practice focuses on social narratives explored through storytelling shared by those living within diverse communities. By doing so, I aim to introduce audiences to authentic encounters of both people and places. Employing camera capture to refocus familiar themes, my work intends to promote new dialogue surrounding issues such as social mobility, mental health and concepts of identity, belonging and migration. 

Please Tick The Appropriate Box

Drawing on the experiences of my own journey, I confronted the ideas of belonging, identity and migration in a project called Please Tick The Appropriate Box. Based on a collaborative research project for Tate Encounters: Britishness and Visual Culture, I used a minority monitoring form to visually reflect the diversity of Britain's population and our tendency to classify individuals depending on their race and heritage. Expressing my personal feelings, I used photos taken for my first British passport and placed myself in different 'boxes' pointing towards my inability to identify with just one sociocultural group. This three year long project involved working with Tate Britain's collection, production of audio-visual materials and written articles. It culminated in a series of exhibitions, interviews and discussions with the view of developing new curatorial practices germane to culturally diverse audiences and the promotion of change within the art sector.

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Teenage Girls On Motherhood

Teenage Girls On Motherhood was a series of photographs and interviews conducted with a group of girls between the ages of fourteen and nineteen. I wanted to provide the participants with a platform to discuss their own views on teenage motherhood and to be seen as individuals rather than statistics. Girls were photographed in their homes, giving the audience an intimate view of their lives. The material was collated into a photobook, with digital format made available for free download for schools and youth educational centres.

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Away With The Fairies– As part of Over The Hill collaborative project 

Away With The Fairies was a collaboration with Tim Andrews on Over The Hill project. Tim is a retired solicitor who, on becoming diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, invited photographers from all over England to document his response to the illness. I photographed Tim wearing nothing but fairy wings in order to highlight the debilitating effect Parkinson's has on patients' mental as well as physical heath. This work was first exhibited at Impact Art Fair London and later at Art Cru Berlin Gallery and Guernsey Photographic Festival.

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Commercial work focused on photo coverage of an array of events from live performances, charity functions, public ceremonies, art exhibitions, antiques fairs, to theatre plays, book signings and sporting events. I've been fortunate enough to cover events at some of the most iconic venues from Tower of London, London Eye and Westminster Cathedral, to Serpentine Sackler Gallery, Shakespeare's Globe and Trafalgar Square.

My love of animals brought me closer to portrait photography where I specialise in creating beautiful photos of beloved pets and their families. While outdoor shoots are without a doubt the most popular with my animal clients, studio portraits sessions capture timeless images that can be cherished for years to come.  I often shoot "on location" producing lifestyle photos documenting the beauty of the everyday. I also have a portable studio that can be set up in the comfort of your own home - perfect for those who want studio style photography but are too busy to travel.

My knowledge of studio photography expanded while working with the in-house photographer at First Base Imaging, the photographic arm of Saatchi & Saatchi, London. The work varied from production of images for advertising campaigns for clients such as LG, Cadbury and NatWest Bank to photographing products for e-commerce sites and book publications.

When working in the studio, I enjoy photographing a wide variety of subjects from live models and products to documenting private collections of art and antiques. The list of remarkable objects I photographed encompasses sculpture, paintings, rare coins, classic cars, musical instruments, period garments, fossils, jewellery, religious iconography, fine art photo archives and antique ivory carvings. I use creative lighting techniques in order to capture the audience's interest while bringing my “subject to life”.  

In my spare time, I organise charity events benefiting animal welfare organisations.


 

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