Still life photographs of found objects inspired by different seat upholstery on London buses

Creative inspiration is everywhere and sometimes from the most unlikely places. For Emilia Cocking, it comes from the different seat upholstery found on London buses.

Her project On Diversion features still life photographs of objects collected on each journey across the capital that she felt represented the textile patterns specific to that bus service. "I’d then treat each item as a building block, with its own significance and origin, towards a final composition greater than the sum of its parts," Emilia explains. "The result is a manifestation of my bus hopping; visual connections formed in memory which helped paint a living, breathing picture of home."

Based in London, Emilia Cocking works in photography, art direction and design. She attended the Arts University Bournemouth where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Photography in 2014. Since then, her work has focused on built environments and the "coincidences that can occur in everyday situations". More recently she has been developing her practice through still life and found objects.

On Diversion is her way of revealing the cultural fabric of London. But it also came from an eagerness to better navigate and find her way around the capital. "As a way of documenting these trips, I began a weekly routine: choose a bus number, complete the route, photograph the seat upholstery and then retrace that same journey on foot. On the return journey I would collect items that I felt represented the textile patterns specific to that service. I then arranged these objects into a singular sculpture. Beginning with a rough idea, I’d treat each item as a building block, with its own significance and origin, towards a final composition greater than the sum of its parts."

Emilia adds: "In an image culture centred around quantity and speed, I forced myself to slow down the creative process, giving myself time to craft each still life at my own pace. By working in this way, I embraced mistakes and let the composition develop naturally during the shoot. The result is a manifestation of my bus hopping; visual connections formed in memory which helped paint a living, breathing picture of home."