Born and bred in London, Indigo Lewin is the kind of artist you want to be friends with. Not just because of her wry wit and sheer aptitude for taking beautifully honest portraits, but also because you just might end up in one of them.
Photographing friends, relatives, and acquaintances, her work is a series of stolen moments and an insight into the world around her. Honing her craft at the International Centre of Photography in NYC, and taking part in group exhibitions across the pond, she's now back in blighty with her very own handmade zine, and is teaming up with supercool art collective Girls Only, for her latest solo exhibition at The Crate. Ahead of tonight's opening, we catch up with the artist to talk about underwear, Nan Goldin, and whether being a girl matters when it comes to making art.
When did you first become interested in art and photography?
Art and photography have always interested me, I come from quite a creative family so it's something that I've grown up around.
There's something about photography that I find very therapeutic, I think the way in which it allows for me to look at something, or connect with somebody in a different way.
Growing up which artists were you most inspired by and why?
There's a long list! There are the obvious ones but I think the first time I felt truly moved by a series was watching Nan Goldin's Ballad of Sexual Dependency for the first time. I'm really into contextual photography; I like to know about the subject. For me, a lot of the time the story is just as important as the image.
Your work is largely portraits, who or what makes a good sitter?
It's always a lost easier and fluid when the person enjoys having their photograph taken.
You shoot a lot of your friends, how do you know when a photograph should be exhibited or when it's just for you?
Underwear? It's definitely a distinction I've not made thus far; my work is all very personal.
Do you take pictures for fun or is there something deeper behind representing all the different characters in your life?
I definitely enjoy taking photos and try to have fun when doing so. I think most of the expression is usually on my subjects' part, I try to leave everything as raw as possible, not add too much influence, I find it always leads to a more honest representation.
Do you approach image-led social networks like Instagram in the same way you approach your art?
Not at all, my Instagram page is totally drunk and stupid.
How did you first get involved with Girls Only?
I was living in New York at the same time that Antonia was creating Girls Only NYC, I exhibited a few images in a mini-exhibition and then she approached me to show in the group show in London. We seem to be in the same place at the same time and share a lot of the same ideas.
What does it mean to you to show in girls only exhibitions?
It's fun to do something as a group; you can bounce off of each other's creativity.
Does the fact that you're a girl affect your creative choices or overall aesthetic? Should it?
I personally don't find that being a girl influences my aesthetic, and I don't know, should it?
If you could take anyone's picture - dead or alive - who would it be and why?
I'm not sure. Marie Antoinette? We'd probably have a lot of fun...
Photography Indigo Lewin
Text Tish Weinstock