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Amanda Mason | Three Questions
Amanda Mason was the Juror’s Award Winner for our exhibition “Flawed” juried by Michael Kirchoff.
How did you come to photography?
When I first read this question, I was thinking of answers like how I fell in love with the darkroom in high school (which I did), and how I went on pursue Design and Photography Art School etc to pursue my love, all of which is true, but I am simply drawn to photography over other art mediums. I have always been esoterically drawn to the medium for the ‘magic’ of it. By magic I mean the feeling I get when a photograph just ‘works’. When it is just ‘right’. The mood, the idea, the light, the composition… When the elements all work and speak to each other in the way you envisioned, when it captures your feeling or the situation perfectly. That it feels like the image came from somewhere other than you. I am addicted to that feeling. It is not always about technical ability or equipment. It is about feeling. This is why I continue to use photography as my artistic medium over others. Photography has a unique ability to capture minute moments in time and stir up emotional responses effortlessly, both dark and light.
I recently inherited a box of photographs from my deceased grandfather, who was apparently a very accomplished photographer, so my other theory is that it is simply in my blood.
Can you tell us about your images?
I am deeply inspired by story telling, by narrative, and create tiny ideas within images. I try to shoot stories, or a sense that my images are a small part of a much larger narrative. I love that viewers make up their own interpretation. My images are mostly cathartic and nostalgic. My emotional responses to things that are happening around me, memories, messages. I love using symbolism to try to tell the story, so often my photographs are littered with objects or symbols that allegorically represent what I am trying to work through. I shoot almost exclusively film, and mostly Polaroid or Impossible Project films, as they bring to life the dreamscape and otherworldly qualities that just capture what I am thinking when I picture the end result.
What is it about instant film that that gives it more emotive qualities for you over digital?
Instant film is not perfect, It has flaws, glitches, unexpected flares, a softness and other random results that can work for or against you. The nature of the film creates an image that doesn’t exist in reality, it feels like a dream, or nostalgic, or more surreal. I adore these qualities, and love the unexpected results that happen. It works for the images that I create, and build poetic expression. Of course you can achieve similar results with post processing these days, but I never feel like they have the same soul. And it takes a lot of time and great retouching skills to achieve.