Nuno Santos Silver Winner
The Nude Competition Winners
Nuno Santos was awarded Silver in the series category with his series "Metallic Bodies": a new reflection on the harsh training methods and repetitive processes dancers undergo to achieve excellence in their field. "The images in this series look at the nude body and human form in relation to artifice and object," he explains. " I think there are two aspects that make this series interesting. The first is the concept of depicting the process of achieving perfection. This resembles a mechanical part, where the dancer looses humanity. In a broader sense, the question I examine is whether striving for perfection is a process that makes us less human. The second aspect is the aesthetic of a beautiful body in contrast with the metallic stilling and props, and (most importantly), the strong movement the dancers are executing."
Nuno specialises in dance photography and has collaborated with many dance artists in the UK over a number of years. "Dance is a genuine passion, and I don’t really see myself photographing anything else professionally," he says. "If anything, the exploration of other fields will probably take me into the trans-media direction. I am particularly interested in collaborating with other artists, such as stylists and designers. For this series I worked with the artist Lisa Jahovic on the styling of the dance artists and shots.
"I have enjoyed working with number of choreographers, but the image for Glacier (a piece by Maresa Von Stockert) was perhaps my favourite. The image of a beautiful dancer impersonating a bird trying to fly from a pool of oil is probably my dearest. It was one of my first commissions. We photographed in an improvised studio, all very low budget, but the result is amazing. It actually made a number of covers."
The current economic climate presents challenges and opportunities for Nuno. "It is certainly not the best for artists," he says. "But, on the other hand, there is so much interesting, groundbreaking, innovative work being done in dance that it balances itself out. I’m thankful I have other means of subsistence. Commissions keep coming, but in general you can really notice that there is less money in the arts and artists are having more difficulties."
Nuno's advice to new photographers is to find a passion which you can explore endlessly. "Today, the technical aspect of photography is becoming more and more accessible so differentiation really must come from the content and subject itself," he says.
Nuno has three major projects in the pipeline for 2012. The first is exhibiting “Metallic Bodies” work more, the second will be preparing a second iteration of his “Surface” project (a major endeavour, photographed underwater and the third will be to take the exploration of the “Body Parts” project a bit further.