Interview, Taysa Jorge -
Embracing the Uknown
Taysa! While having your cup of coffee this morning, what all were you wondering about?
This morning was very productive, I felt very inspired and I wrote some ideas about the project I’m currently working on while I was having my coffee… As I told you, it’s like my “meditative” or “philosophical moment” of the day, but sometimes I just wonder about things that make me worried. Instead, this morning I was wondering about the consciousness, presence, the mind, the universe and the spacetime… The ideas are always mixed in my mind but little by little I’m getting answers and new questions too.
Do you feel that these wonderings are transforming you in any way?
Of course, I think transformation is a natural thing… In one way or the other, people are always transformed by their thoughts or experiences, conscious or unconsciously. But I have to say that in my case, wonder about things is like a need, I want to know better myself, I want to grow and I want to get answers but sometimes I just get new questions!
I know your interest in photography is rooted in self-expression and emotions, but to me, dance is the most total form of such an expression - how does your expression changes or bridges itself in these two different mediums?
This is a difficult question for me, I enjoy a lot both, both make me “forget” the world and connect with my emotions. But I think that maybe the difference between them and what makes me feel attracted by photography is that I can feel inspired by a song, a feeling… But when I dance I feel that I let it go… And when I make an image is like if I’d let it go and retain it at the same time… And every time I look at that image I remember that song or feeling.
Just as theirs a range of emotions, in your work, there’s a longing towards the unknown as well. Is it important for you to know what’s more to life?
Yes, it’s important to me to understand, life is a big mystery starting from our mind till the universe. For me, everything is connected but we’ve forgotten it, that’s why there’s something inside me that makes me wonder about it continuously because maybe I already know but I just cannot see… I feel like society is asleep, we just see what we have in front of us and we have to learn to look inside.
..and you have lived closest to nature, to silence. I have experienced that to induce a vague state of awareness under which a divine presence can be felt, and everyone close to nature, I am sure, is bound to feel it. Consciously or unconsciously, either way.
Since I have a driving license I used to take my car and drive at night to El Teide, it’s a national park here in Tenerife which is 2.000 meters above sea level… There are no artificial lights up there, there are no houses, there are no people, there are no trees, there are no clouds… Just an open, black, full of stars sky. It’s overwhelming… In some way scare you because makes you feel so small and defenseless and it’s calming at the same time, I feel like everything makes sense for a moment, even what I don’t understand.
You have been a wanderer too. Living in different places. Can you shed some light on what motivated you to do that?
When you are a teenager, and you start to go parties with your friends, you feel like if you don’t hang out a Saturday, you’re missing something… I have the same feeling living in just one place. Since I was around 19 I started to feel this, studying dance and learning English in London was the excuse, but after this first experience, where I learned and grew up as a person so quick, I got hooked to this feeling, the feeling to be alone in a new and unknown place is scared and exiting at the same time. You realize that you’re stronger than you thought, you’re capable, you like things that you even didn’t know. Everyone has their own way to grow up, and I found mine this way.
Now, can you share with us about your creative process, from how you encounter surreal moments in nature, and how you (process and present) them?
Usually, I don’t prepare my shots, I just shoot what I like or sometimes I have an idea because I’ve been wondering about something but usually it doesn’t work… The good thing is that while I’m looking for something I always find other things that catch my interest. After this I sit in front of my laptop and depending on how I feel I see one thing or another, I just “let it flow”. I would say that my creative process it’s influenced by my unconscious. If I feel attracted about something I start to make shots about it and while I’m working on it I’m discovering what it means to me. It’s also a way to know myself and look for answers.
As it is a dominant element in your work, what does looking up in the sky mean to you?
The same I said before, look at the sky is like a look inside of yourself… I don’t know why I always felt so connected to this. Even when I’m traveling on a plane I feel so good, the feeling to be close to the universe makes me feel calm. Sometimes I think that all the crazy things that are happening in the world make me wanna fly away.
Before I ask you the last question, Is there any particular poem that you are most inspired by or a poem that speaks for your own existence?
Yes, there is a poem I discovered recently, from Mary Oliver, “The Ponds”. There is a part which is resounding in my mind all the time, lately. It says:
“Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled —
to cast aside the weight of facts
and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking
into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing —
that the light is everything .”
Lastly, what would you suggest or share with other photographers?
There is nothing like the artists who move you by being authentic. Be true to yourself, love what you do, do what you love and it will be appreciated, soon or later.
Interview with Taysa Jorge