1972 Logo

Bolade Banjo

“Seeing the possibilities that Gordon Parks & Susan Meiselas created for themselves over 75 years ago and how they developed their breadth and unmatchable approach is a true inspiration to me.”

For British photographer and filmmaker Bolade Banjo, his first ideas of how picture-making can celebrate and reinforce human life came in childhood from his maternal aunt, the unofficial photographer within his family. Banjo’s material fascination for image-making began as a teenager when he started making short films and understanding photography as an essential reference point within the practices of cinematographers. A natural researcher, he is continually extending his frame of reference including with his encyclopedic knowledge of independent British magazine culture through to the synergies between photography and music in the ways in which ideas can be nurtured.

Bolade Banjo’s intricate understanding of the permutations of photography at this juncture in the medium’s history is underpinned by a deep knowledge of the alchemy that analog photographic darkroom processes enduringly provide. From the choice of lens to printing processes - from lighting to set design – once curiosity takes hold, it underpins the way that Banjo goes forward with visual ideas and storytelling. Working on multiple cameras on set, he responds to and consciously expands the potential of a photographic situation in real time. His photographs take us in multiple directions but share a constant spirit of experimentation that goes beyond the already learned. He has published editorial stories in The Face, i-D Magazine, Dazed, The Gentlewoman, More or Less, Arena Homme + and WSJ magazine and commissions include with Burberry, Supreme, Gucci, F1, Marc Jacobs, NIKE, Nicholas Daley, Mount Kimbie, Palace/Y3 and Drake. Banjo’s 2017 book, They think Brighter than you Shine, was made as the first chapter of visual stories in Detroit, in collaboration with house musician John FM and jazz artist Nolan Young.

His practice spans photography, film and multi-media, and uses analog techniques to explore the physicality of image-making through the combination of colours, collage and expanding tonal ranges. Work encompasses reportage, fashion and portraiture, providing a platform for Banjo to respond to an ever-evolving subject matter. These techniques, and the stories that he tells through his work, contribute to a new definition and expression of emerging photography, seeing him exhibit work at VA Dundee, Now Gallery and the Saatchi Gallery.