ART: Jude Kendall - "I got tired of being another person taking photos of skinny girls looking grumpy"

Written by: Violet Myers

Why did you decide to take photos of punks?

I was going to a lot of punk gigs anyway and I wanted to be able to take a part of the energy and mood away with me

“…as well as take memorable photos of my friends that were actually good. Before I started with the punk photos though I studied fashion photography at university.Then I freelanced as a fashion photographer for a couple of years, before I got sort of tired of being another person taking photos of skinny girls looking grumpy in clothes around London. I wanted to be excited about photography again and work on a project that actually meant something to me.”

Your work seems to be inspired by different time periods, If you could have been born in any era what would it be?

“I’m really a big history nerd, so I’m pretty into old stuff. But as a woman, I’m not sure how sick being in a different era would actually be. Maybe it’d be cool if the whole ‘half of Viking warriors were women’ thing were true, then I’d definitely be up for that. But otherwise, aside from the really short life expectancy, I’d pick being a hunter-gatherer. Plus then I’d be able to report back on if primitivism is actually the answer or not.”

Where in London do you have your morning coffee?

“When I lived near Green Lanes I used to go to Moka next to Harringay Station to treat myself.”

Where in London do you get blind drunk?

“T-Chances in Seven Sisters. It’s where a lot of the best DIY festivals happen in London. It’s always a good night out, the people who run it are really sound. Drinks are cheap for London and it’s pretty much always a very good, very messy night out.”

Describe your work in four words…

“Grainy, chaotic, lucky, gritty”

If Bonnie Tyler were to write a power ballad about your work what would it be called?

I’m not sure Bonnie is going to be doing any punk covers any time in this universe, but I’d love to hear her cover of ‘Bash the Fash’ by Oi Polloi.

When was the last time you said “It’s crazy…. but it may just work”?

“I don’t think I’ve ever said that exact phrase, but probably the closest I’ve come to it would be when I decided to make and print 6 screens in one day. If you’ve ever made screens for screenprinting, you’ll know that this sort of defeats the point of screen printing, but is also quite a lot of work. I was making a roughly life-sized print of me in my clothes, excluding my face for a project. It turned out as a really nice art piece that I’m happy with.”

What is the single best thing you’ve seen in London?

“Hundreds of punks down on the beach on Southbank for Trespass! There were heaps of tourists and Londoners watching with bemusement from the bank and all these drunk punks dancing in the sand and falling over. It was probably the best gig I’ve ever been to.”

And what is the worst?

“Those homeless spikes they have around the city. Because being homeless isn’t shitty enough.”

You have a portfolio full of incredible fashion shots but the fashion industry can be a strange place, what’s been your weirdest moment as a fashion photographer?

Someone I freelanced with a couple of times started sending me death threats. It was totally bizarre.”

If you ran for Mayor of London what would be your slogan?

“Refugees welcome”

If you weren’t an artist or a photographer what would you be?

“My sister is totally non-artistic but can play any instrument, so maybe I’d be musical instead.”

To see the rest of Jude’s portfolio check out: Jude Kendall.

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