Meet the artist... Maria Alejandra Huicho
Maria Alejandra Huicho headshot
London and Lima, Peru, based photographer Maria Alejandra Huicho graduated MA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art in 2009 and went on to study MA Photography at London College of Communication in 2013. Her work investigates groups of people and their human condition in relation to the challenging environments they inhabit.

What was the inspiration behind the piece(s) in not just a shop?

‘Shadow Fighting’ is a series of portraits of amateur dancers that I photographed at their weekly meet in East London. I was compelled to observe the dancers, since most of the time they didn’t know each other, and therefore the transient bonds in a place that can be as impersonal as London were interesting.

Who has influenced your work the most? 

While researching for this particular series, discovering Boris Mikhailov’s ‘Dance’, shot in the aftermath of communism in Ukraine, was a real turning point.

Photograph by MARIA ALEJANDRA HUICHO

When did you know that you want to pursue a career as an artist?

Not until I finished my degree in Peru. Before that I wanted to be a journalist but I suppose the urge to tell stories was always there.

What do you want viewers to take away from your work?

A search for bonds, community, sense of what surrounds us seen from a distance or behind a barrier. Also a different sense of what ‘documentary’ photography can be, forgetting about objectivity.

Photograph by MARIA ALEJANDRA HUICHO

What three things are essential to your practice?

People, research and overcoming the agony that it is to approach a stranger to take their photograph.

What is the most inspiring place or exhibition you’ve been to in London?

I had the chance to see Masahisa Fukase’s prints of his ‘The Solitude of Ravens’ book a while ago. It’s still the most beautiful work I’ve had the change to look at in person in a while. Also some recent Bristol punk bands.