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Thursday, 3 April 2014

Interview: Philomena

recently, as i was browsing deviantart (www.deviantart.com) i stumbled upon a couple of photos that totally blew me away. the images below are some examples from Philomena's body of work (http://www.chat-noir.at/) who i decided to interview and she was kind enough to accept my request:



For the people who don’t know you yet, please tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live currently.

I'm Philomena and I currently live on the outskirts of a larger german city. I moved here to study.
Creative work is a constant part of my life and a kind of an inner need for me.
I discovered photography for me about a few years ago on my journey to find ways to express myself, and I do this currently mainly with portraits/self-portraits.
Photography is also a passion and love. I spend a lot of time in nature and even there I always go with a camera.

If you could wake up tomorrow in any city in the world you wanted to, where would that be (and why)?

Maybe a city near the sea in France or Sweden, because I love these countries and I love the sea.
But if I can wake up in a place I want to be, I don't would wake up in a city,
but in a place with pure nature around me. Nature has always been a precious ally and refuge for me.
Cities are often too noisy for me, too crowded and unpeaceful.

What music can be found on your ipod/mp3 player/walk-man/gramophone at the moment?

Music! I listen to so much music, it's an important thing in my life!
A small excerpt from my current playlist:
And Also The Trees - Dialogue 
Sixth June - Back For a Day
Gertrud Stein - Sick
Ane Brun- To Let Myself Go
Nirvana - Something In The Way
Daybed - Lack Of Light
Of The Wand and The Moon - The Raven Chant 
Depeche Mode - Blasphemous Rumours
Apparat feat. Soap&Skin - Goodbye
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Weeping Song
Lebanon Hanover - Gallowdance
Goethes Erben - Schreiheit 
Rammstein - Eifersucht
John Frusciante - Going Inside
Deine Lakaien - Vivre
 I listen to many genres, but have a fable for Dark wave, New Wave, Gothic, Ambient, Electro Wave ...

How did you start getting into photography and art?
Did you go to art school or are you self-trained?

 
I discovered photography actually just a few years ago,
but I had it for some time in mind as an idea.
As a child/teenager I photographed infrequently
and learned a bit about in school. I'm a autodidact
in many things, also in photography.
At the moment it is the most direct way of creative expression for me.
 
If it wouldn't be photography - what other creative outlet would you have chosen?
Do you currently indulge in art forms other than photography?

I paint and I write a bit. But till now only for me.
I find it interesting to combine different creative outlets with photography; maybe I'll spend more time on it in the future. I am also interested in sculpting (but completely inexperienced so far).

You have a very mysterious and fairy tale-like theme in your photos. What inspires your work?
Are there any photographers or other
artists you would count as your influences?

Mostly I'm inspired by inner processes of myself - emotions, dreams, fears, thoughts, experiences, memories ...
Of course things around me inspires me also - people, nature, music, books, art ...
stuff and themes, that move me and trigger something inside of me.

Your visual style is very recognizable. Is this something you achieve mainly in camera or in post production of your images?
Could you take us through the process of one of your images from concept to realization?

That reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from the american photographer Ruth Bernhard:
"I never question what to do, it tells me what to do. The photographs make themselves with my help."
I never follow a strict pattern.
But mostly it starts with an emotion, an inner process and then I'm guided by it.
Sometimes it makes me change only a few things, sometimes it makes me carve out details for a longer time. Many of my pictures have their own way of coming to existence.
For me it's important to try making the emotion or the thought, that led to the idea for the picture, is not only just visible to the viewer, but can be felt.

What are the things currently in your camera bag? Is there anything essential that you wouldn't want to miss there?

In my photo backpack are: my DSLR (Olympus E-5), 3 lenses, extra battery, small cleaning set, paper + pen (for ideas or some notes on the road). And sometimes a instant camera and/or a other analog camera.

How much time on average do you spend on a shoot?
How many pictures do you take until you are happy with a shot?

This is very different - it can take between 5 minutes and few hours. The number of pictures varies likewise.

What advice would you have for someone just starting out in photography (or art in general)?

Hm, that's difficult, because I myself still feel as a beginner or rather as a seeker in art.
Perhaps something like "be patient with yourself, let you not to be put off by others and find your own way".


If there was one single thing that you have learned that you could let everybody in the world know about/experience - what would it be?

You can not get out of your own story.

What does the future hold for you?

Undreamt dreams.

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