Founded by three photography graduates hell-bent on accelerating their creative output, Wandering Bears is a photography collective worth following. The English boys have created a photography network with big plans for the future. Luke Norman and Nik Adam share their news and some of their favourite photos with ArtRebels.
How did Wandering Bears begin?
Myself, Luke Norman & Peter Haynes graduated together in photography from UCA in England in 2010. Aware of the challenges awaiting us after graduation in the big wide world, we felt keeping a core of the class together as a focus could provide the encouragement and support we would find difficult outside of the educational environment.
Sharing and being pushed by the ideas and work of other creatives around us every day within an institution was something we felt integral to our creative development. Something we didn’t want to distance ourselves from.
This is essentially the basis of Wandering Bears – a community of emerging work, ideas and talent where we collaborate to produce something exciting within the photographic community.
What is Wandering Bears’ earliest memory?
We recently re-launched the new WB site. After a VERY long process we have produced something we are really proud of. Refining our intentions and goals as an institution, we have been able to focus our approach and outlook within photography.
Looking back at where we have come from has been such a great experience. Creating something outstanding and genuinely unique remains one of our key aims. Opening up the WB community to creatives from all around the world has enabled us to collaborate with so many enthusiastic and talented people. By doing so, we really feel we are on our way.
In your wildest dreams, where is Wandering Bears going to be in 5 years?
I think foremost, just the chance to do what we love and be able to give Wandering Bears our complete focus. Working from 9 – 5 on all things WB would be a dream! In turn we would have our own office & gallery space organising international events / projects that inspire others.
You’re holding a dinner party and can invite 5 people – who’s coming (dead or alive / real or fictional)?
Photography isn’t everything:
1: Larry David
2: Stephen Hawking
3: David Attenborough
4: Homer Simpson
5: Team GB
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what would you be up to?
We run things alongside WB. For example, myself and Luke are photographers and Pete is a web designer. The dream is that one day, Wandering Bears will be our main focus, sustaining itself through funding and allowing us to dedicate our working days to Wandering Bears projects.
Tell us about your new project – ‘Objects’
Wandering Bears Objects is a project that looks to collaborate with the most exciting photographic talents from around the world to create an item that is both compelling and affordable. Combining the medium of photography with an accessible format, we intend to explore the ways in which the photographic image can be viewed. The first Object is a collaboration with talented photographer Charlie Engman. We’ve collectively produced a beautiful A0 poster limited to a run of 20.
In the future we look to further explore the photographic image and it’s dissemination, applying it to what we feel is appropriate, accessible and exciting. Essentially the concept looks to offer an object that won’t just sit on a bookshelf, hidden in a draw or sit on a hard drive for years unappreciated. More something that can be enjoyed and experienced frequently. We all have those expensive 1st edition books sitting in our bookcases, but who are they for? How often do you take it out and enjoy the work? A big part of what we do at Wandering Bears is about enjoying photography. WB Objects looks to do just that.