Hey Natasha, how did you get into photography and what do you enjoy taking photos of?
Unlike most, I don’t have a defining moment. It has always been about being able to express myself. My interests acted as a gateway in defining myself during my adolescence. I have gone through numerous phases – from at-home hippie kuiers in my salad days to bands, which have shaped my intention as a creator.
Do you ever try to tell stories with your work? (If so, tell me about one)
For me it’s about eliciting feelings and drawing out a reaction where meaning is then derived. Jonathan Jones famously argued that real art doesn’t have a message, never considering that it is extracted from the viewer. As a creator you inherently tell stories of a particular zeitgeist, to be interpreted by an audience in different ways. Meaning and narrative is ultimately produced individually and voluntarily.
What are you working on at the moment?
It has always been a dream of mine to exhibit in collaboration with other artists. Hopefully that will happen in the near future. Some of my work is also currently being exhibited in London and New York as part of the If You Leave 2016 showcase.
What other visual forms (films, illustrations, art, etc.) have influenced your style?
I vividly remember coming across Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon one afternoon where she maintains the artist’s personal vision, radically shifting my idea of consciousness and subjectivity within artistic expression. More than that, my notion of limitation was questioned when I came across Damien Hirst’s famous piece, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living—a tiger shark suspended in formaldehyde, in my first year visual studies class. I find inspiration from those who have come before me. No matter the medium. Witnessing Egon Schiele’s representation of the body and the self, for example, had an impact on me or even reading a classic like Valley of the Dolls. A big influencer, for any artist, is knowledge; being able to identify certain fallacies, differentiating myths from stereotypes, recognising binaries and calling out dominant ideologies are just some examples of deliverance from ignorance. Notable amongst my influences are Jim Mangan, Peter Kaaden, Lina Scheynius, Nan Goldin, Todd Hido, Peter Kaaden, Karin Szekessy, Guy Bourdin, Will McBride, Dario Argento, Eric Fischl and John Berger.
Does the music you listen to while editing affect the style and tone of the work you put out?
Not particularly. Having said that, I enjoy editing more while listening to music, whether it is Jim Reeves, Nick Cave or Edith Piaf.
What gear do you make use of?
I was a fourteen when my dad and I first went on to make a deal. He gave me his DSLR Sony alpha 250. This allowed me to learn the basics of the holy trinity that is; ISO, aperture and shutter. As I continued to prove my interest and gained more knowledge and experience, I got a Canon D650 for my eighteenth birthday. When I got to university I started saving up and was able to buy myself a camera I had been researching for some time, a Fujifilm X-T1.
Asian food on the couch on a Friday night, reciting Roman Polanski films.
Which photographers have pushed you to do better by your own work?
Please refer to question 4.
If you disappeared unannounced, where would one find you?
Most probably in a place with loads of books, like a library or second hand bookshop.