5) You seem like you are more intrigued by older modes of creating images, which involve a more hands on procedure with the possible use of chemicals to develop the pictures.
Is this notion of you correct, and if so, why?
I work across many mediums, but I’m drawn to the versatility and the rarity of photographs that are created using these processes.
I get to combine lots of different ideas in a unique fashion that not everyone has the chance to explore these days. I like the science and alchemy elements of working with the chemicals, and the theatre of being in the darkroom.
The type of processes I am showing the public are far removed from the contemporary smartphone and instagram generation images.
I think digital processes in some ways lessen the importance of ‘light’ and composition in photography, because the technology is so clever that people don’t need to know the fundamental ingredients anymore.
They can shoot and shoot, and crop, and edit, all at the push of a button. But, there is an artistry to understanding and physically working through a process.
I use digital mediums to communicate with my audience, so they’re both fairly important to me, but in very different ways.
6) What is your opinion on the modern photography gears like DSLR in comparison to older photography gear such as film cameras?
The DSLR is just a film SLR camera with fancy electronics, processors and sensors. The digital revolution has made photography much more instantaneous, and ultimately, a lot cheaper for everyone to have a go.
With film photography it is a little bit more of an elitist club because you need specialist equipment. I think both have their pro’s and cons.
As an art form I will always rate film photography processes above digital. This is because the artist is physically manipulating the materials to create an artefact.
Where as, digital photography has made it a lot easier for the commercial photographer to work in the field. You can show clients your images instantly, which can allow for a more collaborative process between the client and the photographer.
For me, I naturally flit between processes depending upon the requirements of of current project.
7) Tell me how important it is that have the support of NEPN and Cultural Spring Commission Sunderland on this project.
What does it mean to you, and the people of Sunderland?
It is imperative that we support cultural organisations in the City. The support, advice, and shared knowledge means that I can be a much more effective artist. I can consider, and have time to reflect on, my working process.
What has worked? What hasn’t worked, and why? In order to improve there must be time for self reflection, and working as a solo arts professional can often mean that I don’t have time between jobs to consider the intricacies.
Working closely with cultural programs has enabled me to access a lot more people in the City, to marry up with new organisations, and to get out to people in many different areas.
I think that the arts world can sometimes seem out of reach for people who have never engaged with it.
There’s a preconception that there are white walls, strict rules, and that it’s only for those who are educated.
I want to smash down these barriers as much as possible, by taking art to the people in their own spaces.
8) The project will end with a display of images created during the workshops. What do you hope that people who get to see it will take away from the experience?
I’m going to continue the workshops into the exhibition. To invite the community to see the work that they have produced, and to continue to think about the work that they have created. We may make other artworks to respond directly to the photographs produced, or even to create a response to the manner in which I have have worked with people.
I want the exhibition to continue to evolve whilst it’s in-situ allowing new people to engage with the project. Collaboration doesn’t need to stop after the workshops.
Hopefully, we might light a fire in people to continue with some of the ideas and themes presented in #wearexperimenting.
9) As a photographer what do you do to stay constantly inspired?
I eat, sleep, and breathe being an artist. It’s not so much of a career, as more of a vocation.
I think the best way to keep motivation up is to just acknowledge when the creativity isn’t forthcoming. Don’t force it, do something else to give your brain a break. No artist can create whilst chained to a desk.
Lived experience, continuous research, and self reflection, will enable you to form opinions that you may one day want to express as art.
It’s better to create and fail, than to create nought at all. I make work all of the time. Sometimes good, and often bad, but the failed work often leads to ideas or tangents that eventually produce a point of interest.
I just try to make something every single day. Being an artist is about constant evolution, dedicated observation, and obsession.
I’ll never be a rich woman, but everything I have I built for myself; and in that there’s a certain pride that money simply can’t buy.
Interview questions by Bennson Ugado