Alishia Farnan is a professional photographer from Scotland. Her simple and minimalistic everyday images drew our attention for showing the human conditions and the overlooked world around us. She’s what we’d like to term as a courtyard photographer. She’s been shooting windows, corners, curtains and objects just lying somewhere… waiting to be photographed. There’s a ‘strangeness’ in her photos which tells us how the things are taking shape and form. Her images are also an effort to examine our society and surroundings. Some of them point to a nothingness, some to the emptiness… similarly there is alienation, boredom, collapse… but there’s also some growth, transformation, humor, and joy. It’d indeed be very rewarding to know more about such a talented artist. Here’s our interview with her:
Hello Alishia. Please introduce yourself to our readers:
I am 23 year old. I was born and still currently live in Scotland. I live in Glasgow which has a really great arts scene! I previously studied commercial photography but after realizing that it wasn’t for me, moved to The Glasgow School of Art to study Fine Art Photography.
When did you take up photography as a full-time profession?
I began making photographs in 2006 and started thinking seriously about making it into something serious around two years later. I started it as my hobby and then it become my profession but I still enjoy it so much I consider it to be both.
For a long time I picked up my camera only for specific projects and so I would only make photographs once every couple of months. Now I make photographs every day without fail and have done since 2013.
Tell us what makes you click:
I take pictures because I like to see how I can make the mundane things I see every day a little bit more interesting to look at.
Tell us about your key area and achievements and camera you use:
I photograph things I see every day – things that are around me when I go about my day-to-day. I will take a picture if I see something where the texture, an object, a colour, the lighting catches my eye. If something that strikes me as intriguing.
My biggest achievement has probably been finding an interest in photography again after a few years ago I really became disheartened. I left the course I was on, applied to my dream school, got in and started seeing things differently!
I have a traditional set up of a Canon 5D Mk II and if I’m shooting with that I will always use prime lenses. However, since November last year all of my work has been taken on my camera phone. I am really interested in spontaneous image making, and that is something I can’t do as easily with my Canon. I’m also interested in using a camera phone as a legitimate platform for making work.
Your photography is a bit off the current trends. What do you think about contemporary fine-art photography?
I shoot photographs as I see them. I used to over-think my photography and as a result it became really dull. I now shoot on instinct and I’ve found that my work has become more diverse and a lot less restricted.
I think contemporary fine art photography is fantastic – the diversity and the range of talent that is out there is incredible. Social Media has made it so easy to find amazing photographers. There are so many wonderful artists on platforms like Tumblr and Instagram who are only a message away to share ideas with, swap work with, generally network with. I think now is a great time to be an artist.
I think that if you steer away from Flickr stereotypes and photograph in your own way then I’m going to take notice. I get bored of seeing the same old photographs by different photographers, so I’m especially interested in finding new talent through Instagram. Young people with smartphones are a force to be reckoned with!
Tell us about your shooting experience in Glasgow:
The arts scene in Scotland is brilliant, my peers are all fantastic and I am really lucky to be in a great city like Glasgow where there is a lot of opportunities.
Do you have any favorite photographers?
My three constant sources for inspiration: Joel Sternfeld, Stephen Shore & William Eggleston.
Say something inspiring to our readers:
Keep training and retraining your eye: look, see, make as much as possible!