What is your background in your chosen art form?

My journey into photography was honestly quite ordinary. It evolved from always being the family photographer on holidays to something more serious when I bought my first DSLR a few years ago. Since then it has become a more developed means of expressing my perception of the world, predominantly as a function of my travels to different cities. Despite studying Architecture my main interest has always been in people rather than buildings: more specifically, the expression of one’s self in one’s body language and facial expression. For me photography has always been a fundamentally human exploration.

If you are collaborating with other students tell us a bit about the process and how it’s going?

Claire Guest and I are working on a collaborative piece exploring the relation between poetry and photography. We are currently using a process which involves one of us producing a piece of source material to which the other then responds with their medium. We are in discussion with members of the Edge team about the possibility of making a book of these pieces.

Do you find any links between your creativity and your course?

My degree course is Architecture so, as one might imagine, creativity is one of its defining traits. This is manifested not only in the ‘artistic’ media which we use to represent our work – drawings, models, visualisations, etc – but also in the working process, which focuses on asking and then framing the right questions.

What/Who inspires, influences or drives you?

My working method with photography is very intuitive. I tend to follow my gut instinct rather than study precedent at length. However, I do remember being very moved by a documentary about Nan Goldin, about her series ‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependency’. I admired her refusal to ‘construct’ photos by changing the environment. I think photography (and perhaps all art) has the ability to tell either great truths or great lies. For me this seemed an important step for her towards making her work true to herself. This idea: that is, one’s personal response to the world being reflected in one’s work, is something which I hold dear to my heart and which is at the heart of my creative process. I believe our work must be true to ourselves if it is to genuinely contribute to our lives: that is to say, you cannot paint someone else’s dreams.

Do you have any other creative pursuits?

I am currently investing a lot of time in writing poetry and am hoping to take this further one day in the form of a book of some kind. Though I do not practice regularly now, during my childhood I have always practised music, playing saxophone and piano to a post-grade 8 standard. During this time I was a member of the National Youth Wind Orchestra for three years and greatly enjoyed playing in large ensembles. I sing and dabble with the guitar in my free time. My degree subject, Architecture, is of course also one which elicits creative responses to problems, so this is another artistic outlet for me.

You can contact Dan Innes on dinnes17@gmail.com and view his photography on Instagram


With thanks to Santander for their generous support for this Arts Scholarship.


Find out more about our student showcase, celebrating arts excellence on campus.

I believe our work must be true to ourselves if it is to genuinely contribute to our lives: that is to say, you cannot paint someone else’s dreams