Interview: Amy Östlund

Interview: Amy ÖstlundImage courtesy of Amy Östlund

Interview: Amy Östlund

 

Luca Curci talks with artist Amy Östlund during CONSCIOUSNESS of ANIMA MUNDI festival in Venice 2017.

Amy was born in 1967 in Sweden and had from early years a great interest in Photography. At the age of 14, in high school, she was often seen with her camera capturing images from the school yard activities and spent a fair amount of time in the darkroom developing films and making prints. But Amy chose a different career path and has been working as an engineer, traveling the world solving technical problems for the last 25 years. However, in 2000 she decided to take some time off and she moved to Australia to commence her Photography studies at Mt Lawley in Perth. Amy prefers working with Black & White film and has her own darkroom in the countryside outside Stockholm. However, nowadays she doesn’t spend much time there. Her recent images are all digital. Commenting on what style and field of photography she works within, Amy says: “Starting taking photographs with a digital SLR camera, I realized that most of my motifs are still, peaceful and of natural character. I try to capture the image as clean as possible with a minimum of interaction and influence from the surrounding. I do not wish to create a composition, what is there to my eye is there at the very moment. My images rarely involves people and I would estimate that about 90% of my images are landscapes or architectural”.

 

Interview: Amy ÖstlundImage courtesy of Amy Östlund

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Luca Curci – What is art for you?

Amy Östlund – Art for me is “pleasing of our senses” and I believe that art should also, at least to some extent, evoke an emotion in us. By that I mean that visual art should be pleasant to the eye while audio art should be pleasant to the ear and the kind of emotion it triggers may vary from day to day depending on our present mood. I think that from the artists’ point of view, art is so much more complex than the observer can ever imagine which of course influences its interpretation. My own preference is therefore “to keep it simple”.

 

L.C. – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?

A.Ö. – My photography background is black & white film processing and printing and since I started before the digital era, I find it hard to manipulate my images and I often leave them as they are even if they are not technically perfect. Nature has always been a huge influence to my photography and it always offers an array of objects, shapes and colours in an un-staged environment.

 

Interview: Amy ÖstlundImage courtesy of Amy Östlund

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L.C. – What is your creative process like?

A.Ö. – My photography is an“in the moment” thing so my creative process doesn’t actually start until I am out there with my camera and I more or less stumble on a great setting, or part of it. The initial inspiration can be a certain cloud formation or an arid landscape which I have visited before and which I assume can offer an interesting scenery in a special light or even in absence of light. For me it is mainly a matter of being able to “play with the light”.

 

L.C. – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?

A.Ö. – Thank you, I am pleased to hear that! My artwork in this festival was created for a solo exhibition in London 2015 and as a part of the theme “Water”.

 

Interview: Amy ÖstlundImage courtesy of Amy Östlund

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L.C. – Please tell me what are you working at right now…

A.Ö. – At the moment I am focusing on setting up a large exhibition in Sweden together with my partner Alexander, who is also a visual artist but within painting and illustration. Our concept is to combine the reality (photographs) with the illustrated (paintings and drawings) and allow for a natural flow between the two, using images of similarity.

 

Interview: Amy ÖstlundImage courtesy of Amy Östlund

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L.C. – What do you think about It’s LIQUID Platform?

A.Ö. – I like it! I think it is a platform offering equality for all active artists, amateurs and professionals, which in my opinion allowfor an extended level of attractiveness,for both artists and visitors.I also managed to attend the opening of the festival and was well impressed by artwork and organization.

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