Through the lens of Wallpaper* contributor Oskar Proctor

‘Through the lens’ is our monthly series that throws the spotlight on emerging photographers who are Wallpaper* contributors. Every month one photographer is commissioned to capture the upfront Newspaper section – an artist’s residency in print form – here we explore their vision further

Oskar Proctor photography - seagull taken from below
Mind-bending metal works as featured in the March 2019 issue. ‘Trapped’ mirror, by Josep Vila Capdevila for Aparentment; ‘Piatto’ side table by Industrial Facility for Fucina from Twentytwentyone; ‘Carbon Tilt’ chair by Leon Ransmeier; ‘Secant’ container, prototype by Laetitia de Allegri
(Image credit: Oskar Proctor)

Photographer Oskar Proctor, was born and raised in London. He trained as an assistant for 10 years and is now working internationally in the real of interiors and still life photography.

European herring gull

(Image credit: Oskar Proctor)

Wallpaper*: Describe your style of work and process.
Oskar Proctor:
Pace is key to my process. It’s about building a form of momentum in which an interior shoot provides inspiration that can flow into a still-life set, which then brings something new to taking someone’s portrait. This means I have to stay very flexible and present to whatever environment I’m in.

If too many preconceptions are brought to a shoot it can be stifling and the unexpected is often what makes a good photograph. Any opportunity to bring in just a drop of strangeness is always welcome too, being able to push things outside the expected is something I’m really keen on.

‘Any opportunity to bring in just a drop of strangeness is always welcome.’

W*: Who or what made you want to be a photographer?
If I could easily describe why I do it then I may not have to take pictures at all. That said, it seems to me that images, hopefully my images, describe a dialogue between photographer and subject which can express something beyond words. This is so important to me as pretty early on in my life I discovered that photography was the language I am most at ease communicating with. Fortunately I grew up in an environment where the potentials of creativity were recognised and valued. 

Oskar Proctor photography

(Image credit: Oskar Proctor)

Todd Eberle was an inspiration to me, he’s successfully equal parts architectural, portrait and interiors photographer. His book Empire of Space has always stuck in my mind for it’s mix of modernism and minimalism.
W*: What is currently on your radar?
Ugandan architecture and the importance of its conservation, I recently taught photography there with charity organisation CCFU which was such a rewarding and eyeopening experience.

Birds and their history of being photographed is a point of curiosity, particularly ever-pervasive seagulls. Also I’ve got a couple of exciting book projects in the works, it’s too soon to talk about other than to say it involves toys. 

For more information, visit Oskar Proctor’s website

Harriet Lloyd-Smith was the Arts Editor of Wallpaper*, responsible for the art pages across digital and print, including profiles, exhibition reviews, and contemporary art collaborations. She started at Wallpaper* in 2017 and has written for leading contemporary art publications, auction houses and arts charities, and lectured on review writing and art journalism. When she’s not writing about art, she’s making her own.