Interview with Joanne Leah - Award winning photographer

Hi Joanne, tell us about yourself and your life in Brooklyn.

I live and work in the neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in an old loft building.

It’s musty and romantic with creaky floors and two large walls of windows, so tonnes of natural light.

I live with my partner, my dog and a lot of plants. There is so much life in this space. Since my studio is also my home, I am able to experiment at any time of day. It’s kind of like living in a research lab.

How is life as a photographer?
I never considered myself a photographer. I was a sculpture student, later I switched to studying fashion design, because I wanted to make my own wearable sculptures. I took photography classes in college so that I can document my work. I guess I’m still documenting my work in a way.

Share us about your hobbies, favourite book and movie
Lately, I’ve been spending a tremendous amount of time cooking. I have been researching the science behind food pairing and experimenting with herbalism and naturally occurring poisons.I like Dhalgren, a fiction written by Samuel R. Delany and The Human Condition, a non-fiction penned by Hannah Arendt.Aguirre, the Wrath of God by Werner Herzog is my all-time favourite.

Your advice to beginners in photography, who would be interested in concept based shoots?
Develop a regular studio practice and be organised. Write down a few ideas every day. I keep a main list of ideas, cross-reference lists and additional lists that pertain to subject, object and color. Embrace failure.
How did the concept of ‘Project Mass’ evolve. How has it shaped up? Project is called Acid Mass
I started thinking about my years growing up as a rebellious teenager. I would take LSD, go to raves, and my mother would make me go to Catholic mass on Sunday morning while I was still hallucinating. This is how the title, “Acid Mass” emerged.

My images are based on the “Acid Mass” world: ritualistic, isolated, trapped, detached, bizarre, childlike and somewhat violent. The ideas are influenced by fetish, temptation, obsession, compulsion and mania. The still images are evolving into animated videos.

( Explore her works in gallery below )

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What makes you stay creative 🙂 ?
Competition and failure
What are your future plans/ upcoming projects and what keeps you moving.
I just finished several projects and shows, so now I have time to focus on moving into the realm of animation, installation and performance.

Correspondant : Sri

Image & Photographs : ©Joanneleah

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