Dave Imms

Dave Imms (b.1985) grew up in the south of England and now lives and works out of London, UK. Imms graduated from UCA Rochester with a BA (hons) in Photographer. Imms’ influences range from Rineke Dijkstra and Lewis Baltz to more contemporary artists such as Peter Hugo and Christopher Anderson. Working between his personal projects and commissions he has been recognized in recent years by the AOP awards and BJP Portrait of Britain. His work focusses on the personal and tactile nature of society and relationships, taking the documentary aesthetic and elevating it beyond the real…a style which has attracted clients and magazines such as Adidas, Sony, GQ and the BBC among others.

Brass Band Championships of Great Britain 2017

In October of 2017, I was tasked with making a project for an exhibition in collaboration with an advertising agency in London, UK. The theme for the work was ‘First’ to be interpreted however I chose fit. Under this banner, I set out to meet and document brass bands in the run-up to the National Championships – ‘first’ being attributed not just to rank, but to the premium and greatest, with the intention of illustrating the brutal and candid lifestyle of the working band against the glitz, glamour, and majesty of the Royal Albert Hall – the finest venue in the land.

Looking at it through a critical lens I juxtaposed studio portraits shot backstage on the day of the competition with the crude, rudimentary rehearsal spaces I visited the week leading up to the finals. Some with dedicated spaces, others in workingmen’s clubs, and school halls we see the commitment of the musicians and what they surrender of themselves in their spare time. On the day of the final, I met them as they filtered off stage – capturing the nerves, elation, potential disappointment, and ecstasy in their band colors.

One of the finer details of this project was my interest in uniform and identity. For many, the band represents a culture and community. For Reg Vardy Band, named after a local Sunderland businessman and car dealership and who play in a red uniform, synonymous with the city and its a football team and Tredegar, one of the poorest communities in the UK, this is representing where you are from on the national stage. Playing for the badge.

To view more of Dave Imms’s work please visit their website.