THE PLANTATION COLLECTIVE 27

camilla engevik

INTERVIEW BY JOANNA CRESSWELL

SCULPTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Tell us about your process. What reference or influence (if any) do you take from other mediums? For the last couple of years my work has been heavily inspired by the ocean and the unique landscapes around the North-Norwegian coastline. I have lived by the ocean my entire life, growing up on an island in the north of Norway and later studying in England, I found myself constantly fascinated with the power of the ocean; how it can both give life and bury everything around us. I usually see ideas, textures and shapes around the ocean and nature, then explore different techniques and approaches to, not recreate, but redefine the image in my head. I will often experiment with painting, photography and different mixed media to find the right combination for the project I’m working on. I also find that I rarely notice, or even remember, where my influences comes from.  

Are these pictures concerned with exploring formal and aesthetic interests, or are they representational, metaphorical? What is the weight that holds these pictures together? I often find that I am more interested in what the viewer sees and interprets within my work, rather than my own explorations. Some of my earlier black and white work focused a bit on the human trace within the water, while my more recent project have shifted towards a visual landscape. Ocean, waves, water and seascapes will have different meanings and memories for each individual, and I want to give them the opportunity to find it within my images; either as studies of colour and form, or as a metaphor, or both. I usually never name any of my work because I want the viewer to decide what the photograph is meant to represent (if anything)  

Are you a photographer or an artist using photography? I am a photographer, but for me, the two are not mutually exclusive as I often experiment with a range of different techniques and mediums. Some of my abstract works have been question several times if it is a photograph or a painting - in which I usually answer both, but not in the way you would think.  

Does your work reflect on the medium of photography or the photographic image? I want to challenge the notion of the photograph as a final representation - to allow the viewer to shape and question their own visual experience of the photograph.  

Typically, are your works more about construction or deconstruction? I find that both the process of creating, and the photograph itself, takes from both elements. You deconstruct an idea, a trace or a photograph to construct your own interpretation of its meaning, and which shapes, stories or memories you will find within the visual construction. My latest series is also, quite literally, about deconstructing one or several pieces of work to construct a new one. 
 
Are you interested in the notion of your pictures as objects? Do you think about how their physicality may endure as you are photographing them or is that an afterthought? I spend a lot of time considering the surface of my work, and how it will affect the viewer experience. By using a reflective surface or different materials, I hope to allow the viewer to find, draw out and construct their own image from the physical surface of the photograph.  

Often sculptural photographic works are concerned with elevating banal objects, situations or events to a status of ‘art’ – when does something become art for you? 
I believe that a piece of work becomes art when there is need to question it - even if its just the colours, shapes or what its meant to represent (if anything) For me, something becomes art when it is more than its title.  

www.camillaengevik.com 

Published September 2016