Magali Nougarède was born in 1969 in Mantes la Jolie, France. She migrated to the UK in 1993 in order to study photography, starting with a Foundation course at Filton College, Bristol, followed by a BA (Hons) degree at the University of Brighton. Since graduating in 1996 she has pursued her photographic activity on a freelance basis, deliberately working across varied areas of practice. These have included commissions, both cultural and commercial, exhibiting throughout Europe and the USA and undertaking education projects. From 2001 she taught on the Photography BA at the University of Brighton, until she relocated to Wales in 2007. She is now a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader on the Photographic Arts BA at the University of Wales, Newport.
At the core of her activities is the development of personal bodies of work. Key series include “Toeing The Line” (2000, a Photoworks publication) and “Crossing The Line” (2003-2005, a Fotogallery, Cardiff touring show co-produced by Photoworks). Her methodology involves the photographing of strangers approached in the street and often uses the juxtaposition of two generations: the elderly and the young. The use of close-up framing, flash and the particular treatment of colour, lead to images which are reminiscent of the studio portrait or even the studio still life, rather than the “street photograph”. The resulting semi-abstract portraits home in on personal details of clothing and body language as cultural signifiers.
Through the exploration of a possible dialogue between textile and photography, current work in progress addresses themes of materiality, functionality and the everyday. A visual starting point comes through the realisation of 5x4 monochrome images of tea towels, which exploit possible interplays between the surface of cloth and the surface of the photograph. This ongoing visual research was displayed in May 2009 at Flock Gallery, University of Wales, Newport. The show was accompanied by an “in Conversation” event between Magali and Photography, Fashion and Design historian, Dc Paul Jobling.