ArtULTRA’s first featured artist is photographer Nina Robinson. Having studied photography in Cardiff where she graduated in 2013, Nina didn’t immediately pursue her interest in photography, deciding to develop different skills in the digital arena instead. Five years on, she returned to photography, making the decision to work part time to give herself space and time to explore her artistic practice. Being still at an early stage in her career, she
is taking the time to experiment, in order to find her own style, but she is drawn to portraiture, brutalist architecture and colours, with an affinity for Wes Anderson’s aesthetics. Nina is clearly gifted as a portrait photographer; her photograph In Family We Trust featured here, was selected as one of a 100 portraits for the National Portrait Gallery’s Hold Still exhibition last year. Quite an accolade!
What stood out when speaking to Nina was how her experience chimed with that of many early career artists: getting exposure is a big challenge. Social media is hugely competitive and grows exponentially every day, it is hard to cut through. How and where can you promote your work effectively? How can you get exhibited and seen by different audiences to help enrich your practice? In addition, maintaining the right balance between commissions and self-initiated work can be tricky. Both are so important, to develop your own style on the one hand, and to engage with clients on the other. These are the very challenges that ArtULTRA is hoping to help with: giving exposure, supporting artists by helping them find grants, residencies, studios and more to nurture their practice.
During the first lockdown, Nina started a creative design business, Nina Bombina, designing greeting cards and prints, making earrings from polymer clay, and creating custom print commissions. There is more to do to develop the brand and its product lines, but what is already there is really promising, so keep an eye on her website for new developments. Of course, Nina continues to explore her photography practice – hopefully as we emerge from the strictures of the pandemic, there will be more opportunities to take on new commissions as well as create new work.
You can see more of Nina's photographs on ArtULTRA's instagram page.