An interview with Helen Davies, photographer from the Winsford in Cheshire which is in North West England, who has a show opening this Friday at EGAD! Art Lab, coinciding with Derek Gores' 'Collage Europe' exhibition.
Tell us about being self taught as a photographer. Pros? Cons?
Pro's- when you find a medium that ticks the creative box for you, it all comes together. Some fortunate people know what they want to do in High School but the vast majority don't. I knew I liked to create, but I wanted to dabble with everything. I went down paths creatively that possibly I wouldn't have done if I had picked up a camera sooner.
I still get a massive buzz when people give me a positive critique on my work, even if what they tell me is something negative, it all works to shape you into getting better
Con's- Learning by trial and error, frustration when things happen that you can't understand (like your laptop dying and you have never backed your work up). Time (if you are working a primary job and working photography as a hobby for now), Cost, photography is not a cheap hobby!
What were you like as a kid... and how did that play into photos you take now?
I was one of those children who read a lot. I have my mother to thank for that gift. I read daily, specifically Enid Blyton. I couldn't get enough of her stories, The Famous Five and Mallory Towers Boarding School were series I would read over and over. Likewise my Father was solely responsible for my love of Musical Films. I remember watching The Sound of Music consecutively and being very certain that when I grew up I was going to be a Nun.
Both things combined, gave me a love of language and stories, understanding characters and behaviour (and the odd burst into song). Photography is just an extension of that. In college, I learned about semiotics and the importance of reading without words- that really changed my outlook on images. I try to bear these things in mind when looking through a view finder. I always ask myself, what is the story here, what do I see and does that reflect the moment. I look for humour, those hidden moments that might be overlooked or ignored, I try to give them context, sometimes the fact that they are being ignored makes it more amusing.
What are your pictures about?
This sounds very narcissistic but quite honestly it is all about me. What I saw today. My thoughts, ideas and day to day activities. My flickr stream acts as a virtual diary, documenting what is happening and when, it is not always an image with me in it, but it is my vision. I always try to post with context so I will make a description about what is going on with me that particular day.
What sorts of projects or events do you have cooking?
I am continuing the journey of self portraits, promoting myself steadily, carry on learning and looking for new challenges. I would love to work alongside a mentor or assist a creative team to be a part of something wider than just my own vision.
Where can folks see more of your work?
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Opening Night of Helen's exhibit and Derek Gores 'Collage Europe' is Friday, November 2 at 6pm. EGAD! Art Lab can be found at 1405 Highland Ave, Melbourne.
ALSO!: Concepts on Highland restaurant is hosting a dinner with the artists on Thursday, Nov 1, 6pm, just down the street from the gallery. For reservations: 610-7987