Sarah Lawrence

Emma Noone is a third-year BA (hons) Photography student at University Centre Colchester, interested in documentary photography, social issues and conceptual ideology. She is inspired by the works of Robert Frank, Martha Rosler, Alec Soth and Martin Parr for their different approaches to documentary practice. She discovers themes for exploration through personal interests, research, interviews and effects social issues have on residents that are local to her home town.

From Emma Noone’s series ‘Sea You Next Year’, an out of season documentation of life in a seaside town, we see young girls working in Claire’s (a national retailer of accessories). The focus of the work is to show the ‘banal, boring, dullness of the environment during the winter’, but through Emma’s camerawork, we are privy to a snapshot of reality for young people in modern Britain. In an attempt to dispel the stereotypical view that millennials are the laziest generations, Emma has shown that these girls are at work, earning money and contributing to the national economy. The reality is that alongside these girls’ dreams, they have to earn money to live, in order to kick start whatever paths they choose to take in their lives.

In Emma’s photography the observer does not see smiles, but the bored faces of workers deprived of customers. In the photographs, the body language is open and honest, without artifice or concealment. The lack of customers allows us to glimpse an unguarded moment of naked emotions, normally hidden behind the polite customer service smiles. This is who they are. It is important to Emma that young people are represented truthfully in order to challenge the representations portrayed by the media.

Through Emma’s eyes and lenses, we get to see a reality that is not often captured.

The Claire’s Girls
The Claire’s Girls
The Claire’s Girls