Interview: No Time To Sleep (NTTS)
Luca Curci talks with No Time To Sleep (NTTS), one of the winners of PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE MONTH – JANUARY 2021.
No Time To Sleep (NTTS) is an Art direction Team from London UK, created by Nigerian/Italian William C. Ogbebor and Italian Carol Vandanesi. Carol is a creative and business woman moved to London in 2012 and William a photographer and filmmaker also moved to London only a year after. They both met for the first time in 2017 at their workplace in London and while starting to build a strong artistic connection from the early days it’s only in 2019 that they decided to be partners and forming NTTS.
NTTS is their way to create editorial and creative content that enables them to continue to explore and share their vision. Through their self-produced work they aim to collaborate with other creatives and brands out there, to increase their visibility and build a network of individuals ready to open their minds and give them a space to express themselves.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
No Time To Sleep – It’s visceral and most of the time we can never really explain it because it’s like trying to describe the vacuum of space or how vast the universe is. I believe Art is unknowable, mysterious and too vast to be put into mere words because Art is really every where we look and it is in everything we feel. Nature it ‘self is an artist.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
NTTS – Well for the past year during the pandemic, a lot of our scheduled projects and collaborations got cancelled or pushed back and we were left with each other to work with, we decided to work on a weekly series of self-portraits with different concepts and only using what was readily available to us and it was a great creative jolt for us because it was a great way for us to really get to the important elements of what we wanted our work to communicate and most especially how we felt about each other and how we felt about the world, without being obvert or spoon feeding our ideas to the viewer. It’s been a sort of a detour project that has went on for longer than we intended it to. As long as we still feel fresh and having fun about making self-portraits we will keep making them, but we honestly can’t wait to get to photograph other people soon.
LC – How did you get to photography?
NTTS – It came in a very organic and sometimes accidental way. We are both from very diverse cultural backgrounds and taste. we found our artistic feelings through making Art and having conversations about our most personal and deepest experiences. Making Art together in away made us understand each other better and it’s still helping us to understand each other when we can’t express ourselves honestly through words.
Photography was not our first practice because we both come from a fine arts background, we are both illustrators in our own right. Collaborating in a painting or drawing never suited us, because painting for both of us is a very singular experience. But photography is a language we both understand and it is an art form in which we both can’t do without each other. We support each other through the entire process of making an image. We sort of balance each other out.
LC – Do you remember why you took your first professional photo?
NTTS – The why we decided to started making images is a bit of a mystery to us but we definitely remember how it started. The first professional project we did together was at that time the biggest thing we ever worked on in our lives. It was extremely ambitious for us, to start a career with something that massive. Our first project was called “Mean spirits” we conceived it as a Magazine, Photo Zine, Short Film, Fashion design and Installation Art project which took us almost a half a year to make which in hindsight was extremely fast and tight but we made it successfully because of the wonderful team of creatives we had working with us. And that project really started our practice of being very collaborative in our creative process.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In what way?
NTTS – Well I think our style has changed in subtle ways but the core of our artistic principles are still very much there. I believe that biggest change has been in the quality and level of complexity in making of the image. We value quality of the image itself very very highly. But intentionality of the image is the most important element for us.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
NTTS – Well, we sit, we breathe, we criticise (a lot) our work…and….what’s next? There’s No Time To Sleep after all…This Life is a single project for us and we’ve got to work!