Kerry J. Dean is a photographer based in rural Sussex. Her work merges together fleeting moments with dreamlike details of the everyday, all with an astute eye for colour, composition and space.
After training in photography at London College of Printing, Kerry has gone on to create editorial campaigns and projects for magazines and festivals, and has exhibited her work both in the UK and internationally. Her images for the latest TOAST campaign are set in the still landscapes that surround her family home. Kerry herself features as the central artist within each set - bringing a movement and rhythmic interaction to each image.
For our TOAST Insider series, Kerry talks to us about planning the campaign, and what it was like being faced with the unusual challenge of self-reflection.
Can you tell us about yourself and what you do?
I’m a mum and a photographer. I’ve recently relocated to the English countryside and I am currently renovating a disused flower nursery, house and outbuildings and bringing a pine woodland back to life.
What themes and concepts drift into your work as both an artist and photographer?
Motherhood, family, love, loss, vulnerability, nature, environmentalism, feminism, rituals, dress, performance.
Tell us about the planning behind the Spring Summer shoot for TOAST. Where did you begin?
The project was conceived by Art Director Luciana Britton Newell, we had been wanting to work together for a little while. She presented me with the idea of the female artist being the maker and the taker, focusing on the flow of work in its natural space.
From that, we worked with a few references but in general it felt very intuitive. Luciana allowed me to interpret the idea of rhythm, giving me total freedom to translate that initial vision and theme. I think the best work comes out of allowing time to let thoughts settle and also most importantly, trust.Can you describe the landscape that surrounds the images?
All of the images for the campaign were shot in my family home and surroundings. We have a huge amount of outdoor green space, which I feel very lucky to be in and around. The familiarity and the space to experiment meant that the set could grow and develop, and the whole process was less restrictive.
I was also able to carve out time to revisit ideas, and not have to rush through the process. I’ve always travelled further afield for my projects, and what the last year bought was a new perspective on what’s literally in front of my eyes. A new way of seeing.
How did you use elements of the set by Hella Keck alongside your compositions and the collection?
I’m always playing with the idea of set in imagery, whether it's preconceived or something that’s stumbled upon. Colour and texture play a huge part in that. We focused on all the elements that excited us, but very much with rhythm at the forefront of our minds.
Can you talk about what you wanted to portray in each image?
I wanted the images to have a sense of motion in them, and to steer away from anything that felt too posed. As it was an unusual project that was very much focused on me and my practice, I wanted the sense of doing and making to be apparent.What were some of the main challenges you faced?
Being faced with my own face was a real challenge! Self-reflective images always are. There’s so much more to consider than the role of being a photographer. Being able to somehow float above an idea and a scene, and know what feels right in it but also looking upon it. It was a lot, a wonderful experience, but a lot.
What personal projects are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m working on a long term Mongolian series titled, ‘Observations and Orchestrations’. I’m aiming to exhibit that body of work and also publish a book alongside it too.