Tanya Ahmed is an award winning photographer, who was raised in Birmingham and Reading,United Kingdom. For the last 20 years or so she has lived and worked in New York City. Last year, after having an exhibition in Reading (not far from Oxford) via the Internet she met Mathew Aldred, who runs the Oxford Riverside Gallery in Oxford, Nova Scotia and so began the collaboration for the show “ 6 go to Oxford”. Six international photographers, Ahmed, along with Dewald Botha, Keith Greenough, Nigel Haworth, Pete Mansell and Rob™, photographed the British city of Oxford to explore time, place and society crossing geographical boundaries to show autumn in Oxford (UK), in autumn in Oxford (NS). The exhibition featuring over 70 photographs opened on October 21st at the Oxford Riverside Gallery to an exuberant crowd. Ahmed (New York) and Rob™ (UK) were in attendance to discuss their works.
“The opening night was a blast with the Mayor attending and it was great to talk with so many artists, photographers and local people in general. It was wonderful to hear about all the art happening in Nova Scotia!”, said Ahmed.
She modestly describes herself as a photographer with a camera, tripod and comfy shoes, exploring the city, but she is part of a collective of artists producing some of the most exciting urban photography today.
What is your background?
I attended the Berkshire College of Art and Design (now Reading College) in the UK, studying photography and have been a working photographer ever since. I’ve done everything from Press, to still life, to travel and am currently working for the City of New York.
What Inspires you?
Outside of work, my personal photographic interest is the urban built environment. The streets and particularly the buildings that we live and work with. The materials, textures, designs, social statements, how the light falls and the roots these structures provide us with. After 30 years of photographing the urban built environment, I’m still exploring and awed by the urban spectacle surrounding us
How do you work?
I have a fairly simple way of working. I walk, ride, drive, walk some more and see. Immersed in the environment, elements make themselves known to me and voila! A photograph or a project appears.
What work do you most enjoy doing?
Currently I am thinking a lot about crossing time and reconnecting with place. I have been revisiting places that I have photographed in before. I am also trying to forge new connections, recently photographing Oxford in the UK and bringing those images to Oxford in Nova Scotia! I like to photograph places that I am intimately familiar with but it is also exciting to travel and I really enjoyed photographically discovering Oxford in Canada too!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
How can we find out more about you?
The exhibition continues until Friday, November 4th at the Oxford Riverside Gallery,105 Lower Main Street, Oxford, NS http://www.oxfordriversidegallery.ca/6-oxford.html.
I am represented by the Siott Gallery http://www.siottgallery.com/gallery-tanya-ahmed
Urban Landscape http://urbanlandscape.org.uk/tahmed.htm