Interview, Weronika Izdebska -
The Conscious Aesthetic
Weronika, is it the most fulfilling thing when the two worlds, nature and expression, meet?
I need open spaces to organize my thoughts. My own need to commune with the natural environment found its reflection in my works. I believe the most fulfilling thing is when you find your own form of expression.
When did you first discover that storytelling through photographs will become your form of expression?
I’ve felt a strong need to create, for as long I can remember. Always trying new things, constantly searching for my medium. I got my first professional camera when I was about 16 and since then I began to devote most of my spare time to photography. Throughout the years I studied law and architecture, having a strong feeling that I’m not following the right path. Expected changes required making difficult decisions. Finally I quit studies on University of Technology and focused only on working with camera. Filmmaking was the next step. After a year I started studies at our National Polish Film School.
Locations are incredibly incorporated in your work, would you say that you are an explorer?
Travels are incredibly important to me. They inspire me a lot, they are the catalysts. I try to explore and discover as much as I can. I create incomparably more when I travel. The goal is to be in a constant move.
Has photography then evolved you as a being?
Certainly. Photography is often strongly associated with people, so it is in my case. It allowed me to meet so many new people, characters, inspirations. Photography can be a pretext, a justification, a reason. I found myself in situations both beautiful and difficult.. And this, as a whole, definitely develops you on many levels.
Your personal library is full of beautifully intimate photographs, Can you tell us about them?
My personal work is usually taken on the spur of the moment, which means that I take pictures of people that surround me, sometimes even myself, in our own environment. It seems to be natural that the accompanying emotions are becoming palpable.
Is that how your project “Far-Vel” came into being?
These are self-portraits. A record of my relationship with a very important person. Created under the influence of the moment, this series became significant. Since then my works has became more personal and intimate.
What’s your process of creating such expressive photographs? How much is the post-processing part of presenting that expression?
I usually don’t do much post-processing. I believe it’s all about finding your light. I am not in good relations with a warm palette of colors. Looking for places I usually choose those, in which the cool tones dominate, the same applies to scenography, costumes. Almost always working with natural light, I learned how to harness it. The time of the day is crucial. And all this factors make up the whole that creates the final image.
How did you learn to harness the natural light?
Everything is based on my experiences. Over the time, I began to be more aware of the light and its properties. I learned how to recognize the right conditions necessary to achieve the satisfying results. Sometimes it is enough to take a half-step forward or backward, to turn your model a bit and the light on the face changes radically. Having experience, you start using the light conditions in a fuller and certainly more conscious way. If I had to choose my favorite time to shoot it would be this a specific moment just before the sun disappears below the horizon. I consider this soft, reflected light to be the most beautiful. This moment lasts about a quarter of an hour before it becomes completely dark. And the transience enhances its uniqueness.
What kind of stories do you want to tell through your films?
It changes over time, so do I. I feel I’m not able to invent stories, create them from the beginning, form characters and describe situations that do not affect me directly. These are always my emotions. I couldn’t work otherwise. I spit out of myself what I experience and it always amazes me and delights at the same time when it turns out that these impressions simply speak to others as if they have experienced similar situations. Our own feelings can be extremely versatile
Since the time for each frame gets shorter in a short film, When you are cutting it all together, is it instinct or intuition?
I always edit materials by myself and the whole process is very intuitive. I often work for (or with) musicians. And music seems to be a driving force for my short films. It impulses pace, outlines certain frames.
Do you think that your aesthetic as an artist comes into existence through a higher consciousness?
This aesthetic is the result of everything that has happened in my life. I’m often able to see these relations, dependencies. I can search for reasons. However, there are some areas that slip away from rational thinking. We can explain it using expressions such as intuition, creative vein or other levels of consciousness. The fact is- we are present in the creative process which is extremely hard to grasp.
Lastly, What’s one thing you would tell an aspiring photographer?
Don’t be afraid to search and try. Grab the camera and explore, not only your surroundings but yourself as well. I truly believe that each subsequent picture brings you closer to finding your own visual language.
Interview with Weronika Izdebska