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INTERVIEWS,  Mobile Artists on Their Artistry,  News

Mobile Artists on Their Artistry – Interview with Gerry Coe from Belfast, Northern Ireland

We are delighted to publish the fourteenth of our new styled interview entitled ‘Mobile Artists on Their Artistry’. Within this interview, we ask highly successful mobile artists twenty questions about their backgrounds, their work, social media, how Covid-19 has influenced their creative life and so much more…

Today, we are proud to feature award winning artist Gerry Coe. Coe has been rewarded for his skills to mobile photography and has twice received the Peter Grugeon Fellowship of the Year Award at the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) awards. This is one of the most highly recognised of its kind.

To read our other interviews in this series with Jane Schultz, Susan Latty, Cindy Karp, Sukru Mehmet Omur, Deborah Kleven Morbeto, Patty Larson, Adrian McGarry, Catherine Caddigan, Rita Colantonio, Sarah Bichachi, Marco Prado, Mehmet Duyulmuş and Peter Wilkin please go here.

How would you introduce yourself to someone who doesn’t know your work?

Hi, I’m a professional photographer,  I now only use my iPhone to take pictures.

‘Dhow on the Nile’ ©Gerry Coe

What name do you use within social media and was this a conscious decision?

Coe-iPhoneArt, I suppose because it describes what I do. see question 8. Also my portrait business was Coe-Photographer

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‘One woman and her dog’ ©Gerry Coe

What kind of family did you grow up in?

Single child with a lot of friends and best parents around

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‘Guggenheim Abstract’ ©Gerry Coe

Did your childhood influence your ideas about creativity?

Not that I can think of, I always liked to paint and draw but was never very good at it.

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‘Petals’ ©Gerry Coe

Did your parents support your creativity?

When I was in secondary school at the age of 12 I became interested in photography and just before my 16th Birthday I got my first job working as an assistant photographer, when I phoned my Dad to say I got offered the job should I take it, he asked what I wanted to do and they supported me every step of the way. I have never stopped working as a photographer.

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‘Sheep’ ©Gerry Coe

When was the first time you knew you wanted to be an artist?

I have never called myself an artist, I am a photographer.

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‘The Red Umbrella’ ©Gerry Coe

What is creativity to you?

Turning out an occasional nice image.

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‘Achill Island, Ireland’ ©Gerry Coe

What did you do before (if appropriate) becoming an artist?

Was always a photographer in one form or another.

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‘Tulip’ ©Gerry Coe

Where are you most creative?

Probably sitting watching TV and pushing lots of buttons on my phone on different apps to see what happens.

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‘The Dark Hedges’ ©Gerry Coe

What inspires you?


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‘Windsurfers, Costa de La Luz, Spain’ ©Gerry Coe

Who inspires you?

People I meet either physically or online.

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‘Wet Day, Belfast’ ©Gerry Coe

Does your engagement on social media help you to plan your future projects?

Not really.

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‘Marrekesh’ ©Gerry Coe

What does your average day look like?

Varies as I’m now retired from my portrait business so its a case of, breakfast, checking emails (not so many nowadays) meeting friends, visiting daughter and grandkids…OH and taking the occasional photograph.

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‘Berlin’ ©Gerry Coe

Is it your intention to ask questions or make the viewer question what they see?

Neither, I just take pictures and if other people find something in them or just like the look of an image then that is fine by me.

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‘Bangor Marina’ ©Gerry Coe

Is there humour in your work?

Occasionally but not a deliberate attempt on my part.

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©Gerry Coe

How important is failure in your work process? Do you incorporate it into your creative process?

Lots of failures or better said “It has not reached the required standard yet” I work through lots of images before I’m reasonably happy and sometimes I need to go back a step or two or scrap it and start again. It’s all a learning curve.

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‘Boa Island, Lower Lough Erne’ ©Gerry Coe

How do you deal with criticism?

Can’t please all of the people all of the time, so shrug and move on.

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‘Unusual light last night at Ballyholme’ ©Gerry Coe

Has the Covid-19 pandemic influenced your creative life?

Initially it just gave me more time to experiment with new apps etc and where I live it is 100 yards/meters from the sea and  I could go out for a walk without really meeting people so I can’t say it has made a big difference to me.

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‘Old Armagh Post Office’ ©Gerry Coe

Who dead or alive would you like to have dinner with?

My Mum and Dad.

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‘Old Egypt’ ©Gerry Coe

What is the best piece of advice that you’ve heard and still repeat to others?

Can’t think of anything in Particular.

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‘Achill Island Co Mayo’ ©Gerry Coe
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‘Abandoned’ ©Gerry Coe

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Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]