Interview: Margaret Mann
Luca Curci talks with Margaret Mann, one of the winners of PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE MONTH – FEBRUARY 2021.
As a fine art photographer, I am captivated by form and texture which support the themes of my work. Many of my photographs have been taken with film and handled by me in a darkroom with the use of salts to give some hint of colour to black and white images. This has given my African images a sense of the light I found during my travels in Africa. The resulting images convey an understanding of my experience from a feminine perspective: I became very aware of the birth of humanity, the first steps of mankind on the very land I walked upon. Discovering Africa was life-changing, broadening my vision of our story as human beings on this planet. It renewed my vision of our potential to pursue many challenges with determination and good will creating civilisations, cultures and art. My work focuses on the beauty we create and the cooperation and unity we aspire to achieve.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Margaret Mann – As an artist, my interest involved painting and etching till I came across the graphic works of Ralph Gibson and Bill Brandt which ignited my passion for photography. Since, so many talented artists have contributed to educate my eye! Among them: Brassai, Henri Cartier Bresson, Margaret Bourke-White, Man Ray, David Lachappelle, Hassan Hajjaj etc…
My travels to Africa have been a turning point that inspires me immensely, I focus on the contrast and rich palette of the African body in the context of our Human History.
LC – What are you currently working on?
MM – I am currently working on images with a floral inspiration.
LC – According to you, what makes a good photo? Which details do you focus on?
MM – A good photograph, as any work of art, is one that captures your heart instantly! The tonality, the composition and the subject are the key components for an image to become iconic.
LC – When you take photos, are you usually inspired by the situation or do you find inspiration in yourself?
MM – As a photographer, I am constantly scanning my surroundings, searching to be inspired by harmony and beauty. My work doesn’t only project an image, it also projects an aspect of my own experience and questioning: How do I feel being a woman? How do I see femininity? How do I see masculinity?
My work highlights my fascination for our History as inhabitants of this planet from its beginning…
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
MM – Being an artist today is to aspire for a world of unity and beauty finding the spark that will ignite our true nature as divine beings.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in society? And contemporary art?
MM – The role of the artist is to reveal a part of our Humanity which is embedded in beauty, love and joy.