Ralph Pritchard

What’s your background?

I have lived in London all my life. At 19 I left a film BA and started freelancing as a videographer for lots of political causes and I got heavily involved in journalism. Then I left that stuff quite abruptly and became a participant at the School of the Damned, an alternative fine art course based all across the UK, completely self-organised by the students. Now I’m at the Royal College of Art doing an MA pathway entitled Critical Practice.

What influences you artistically?

Many of my influences are from cinema. Fassbinder’s work remains very compelling for its rawness and strength of feeling. Andrei Tarkovsky has always amazed me. I think that ability to make invisible sensations visible is basically the highest aim of cinema. I realised that when I started trying to involve instant messages into my moving image work.

I’d recommend people check out Andrzej Żuławski too – his films have this crazed energy that I really vibe with. There are too many people trying to make films about normal people, I catch myself leaning towards it sometimes too. I think art is uniquely positioned to capture the weird and the irrepressible.

How do you start a new work?

I have my best ideas when I’ve just seen a piece of work I really love. That’s the stuff that fills up notebooks. It’s all too easy to gravitate towards things that are dissatisfying and try and negotiate with them, but the feeling of connecting with a great work is far stronger.

Early ideas get channelled into hasty outlines. The general structure of a narrative usually spills out in a few minutes. Then it can be months of fine-tuning and experimentation.

What are you working on right now?

There’s a few things: a project about climate breakdown and parental resentment, another about an ASMR artist. Because I’ve just finished my short film On Your Terms, I’m back in the writing phase. The challenge now is managing the about-ness of the work, and finding out the format. Right now I’m testing things out.