We are so excited and delighted to publish our first interview to our wonderful new Column ‘Portrait of an Artist‘ edited by Jennifer Bracewell. This is an outstanding interview, filled with great images too. Don’t miss this, over to you Jen, (foreword by Joanne Carter).
“I first noticed Maria Flourou’s work on Instagram a couple of years ago. I was so impressed with her gorgeous work. Maria weaves wonderful tales with her introspective self-portraits. They are incredibly creative, thought provoking, sometimes a bit disturbing. She also does lovely portraits of her children and others.
I chose Maria to be my first interviewee because I think she’s an amazing talent and also a fascinating, kind, generous woman whom I wanted to know more about. Here is Maria!
‘Alone’ – ©Maria Flourou
J: What are your earliest memories of photography and/or art?
M: Childhood memories are Polaroids of family snaps back in the seventies, I loved the dark slightly blurred images they created, especially with the muted tones of the 70’s clothes and decor!
Art is something I adore, particularly when studying it in high school, and learning about the greats, Salvador Dali, Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Brett Whitely, William Dobell and many more.
Anything distorted or abstract really made me swoon. On another level, design in all its elements was something I wanted to desperately learn however was too spontaneous and erratic in choices and not controlled enough to concentrate on fine lines
‘Autumn Moonlight’ – ©Maria Flourou
J: What have you sacrificed for your art?
M: I have not sacrificed anything for my art; rather I have sacrificed time not being able to learn more when I had the chance.
J: What is it that appeals so much to you about portraiture?
M: There is this special moment that you are trying to capture; you may take loads of photos till you get to that one. It may be a look, stare, light, depth, emotion,
Mostly I enjoy a candid and sincere moments. It’s like the subject has dropped their guard and you’re not even there, a stolen moment in time.
‘Denial’ – ©Maria Flourou
J: Why do you think mobile photography and portraiture work so well together?
M: Not all of us lug around a bulky DSLR, so the convenience of my iPhone works so well capturing that moment at that opportune time! Selfies are easier and less intimidating with being able to have privacy at your fingertips, in your own home. A whole other level of self-expression has evolved through this medium. Talented artists are emerging and gaining confidence in posting via social media and sharing deep, emotional and quite breathtaking captures through there own capable vision and interpretation, which has become widely accepted.
J: Tell me about awards and recognition you’ve received.
M: My work has been selected as the hero shot for the Head On festival, I was artist of the day/month on iPhone Art (IPA), an honorable mention for self-portrait for the Mobile Arts Award, exhibited at the LA Mobile Arts Festival (LAMAF), selected as an Instagram suggested user and work has been chosen for various mobile photography sites including: Shooter Mag, Amselcom, Instagood, finalist for Mobile Masters iPad eBook and many others.
‘Gone Mad’ – ©Maria Flourou
J: Which of your own images are you most proud of and why?
M: I am proud of my video Wearejuxt helped create. I felt vulnerable and was so frightened of how people would perceive me. It took a lot of courage and once it was exposed to the world for criticism, I surrendered my fears and accepted that could do anything!!
J: What have been the high points and low points of your career so far?
M: No low points, only high notes of gratitude… I feel blessed being able to return to something I am so passionate about. I was given a second chance to follow my heart, it wasn’t right all those years ago but it is definitely ripe for the taking. I have had great support and encouragement from everyone and have met some amazing people along the way.
A high note was being asked to join the artistic group The Mnemonics. I am inspired by my peers and have learnt a lot and am still learning from them everyday.
‘Nocturnal’ – ©Maria Flourou
J: What would you say the biggest myth is about mobile photography?
M: Not being able to print large photos is a myth. I have recently overcome this, by learning new tips and tricks. One of my mobile images will be seen soon as banner size at the Head On festival in Sydney in May!
J: What/whose work of art would you most like to own?
‘Somebody’ – ©Maria Flourou
J: What song would work as the soundtrack to your life?