I am currently shielding for twelve weeks as my Dr has said I am in the high risk category. In my home, we have all had to make adaptions to adjust to this pandemic, although, at least, currently, we are all well. I’ve been recalling many of the good words our dear friend and talented artist Carolyn Hall Young shared with us, not least ‘in any given situation we can always choose, hope over fear‘ – let’s all choose hope.
I am aware there are many others also in a similar situation at the moment and I felt it would be a good idea to create an interview, reflecting these times with stunning imagery. This is a new series of interview with mobile photographers and artists discovering what they’re creating and how in these difficult times. Our fifth interview is with talented mobile photographer, Susan Latty from Australia. I have always found Latty’s photography and her work extremely uplifting as I previously mentioned in our intimate interview with her, I recognise her spirit, I have felt it in one other in my lifetime, enjoy!
If you are social distancing or social isolating at this time, are you using any additional time you may have to create mobile digital art or photography?
My husband and I decided to cancel all commitments and isolate ourselves mid March ahead of the Australian Government recommendations as we watched with horror as things deteriorated so rapidly overseas. We are both retired and healthy and felt it was an easy decision. We also felt privileged to have the choice.
I am relishing having more time to create mobile art. Normally I only work on editing my images in the evening so spending extra time during the day feels like a gift. I like to be active and continue to go for a walk or bike ride each day whilst observing social distancing. I’m also spending much more time in my garden so inspiration for images is endless.
If so, have you noticed the style of art that you’re creating changing from what you would normally create?
Yes, I feel my art is gradually changing and developing. Certainly in response to this extraordinary situation as I grapple with the implications personally and at a community level, but also due to some recent mentoring with Jane Schultz. Her input and support has offered me broader technical skills and perhaps more bravery to express myself.
If yes to the above, can you explain how your art has changed?
One of my goals for this year was to learn Procreate. Learning Procreate coincided with the devastating fires here in Australia which were followed by floods, and now the horror of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Creating mobile art offers me a chance to respond to these events both creatively and emotionally. It also helps me readjust my focus. With the constant bombardment of shocking news and such a fluid, deteriorating situation, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. It breaks my heart to see what others are enduring and the profound grief and fear they must be feeling. Creating my art gives me a chance to pause and refocus. It helps me be in the moment, noticing and capturing what’s around me and then being able to sit with this, using the subject matter as a point of departure to express what is in my heart.
As my technical repertoire has expanded, I have wanted to challenge myself on multiple levels. I want to take more risks experimenting with these newly acquired tools, trust my instincts with unexpected editing results while fiercely protecting my authenticity.
Have you found additional inspiration to create at this time?
My inspiration always begins with observed beauty around me which then offers a starting point to respond emotionally to my day as I work on the image. I value that even as the world is changing so rapidly in so many profound ways, I can still delight in the rhythm of the day and the ephemeral beauty around me. I find this comforting and it helps me be in the moment. The emotions I am experiencing in response to our current situation are very powerful, and my art helps me find a balance between witnessing, with compassion, the world events and caring for my own emotional health.
Is creating mobile digital art/photography helping you at this time specially, how and why?
During such unprecedented times of fear, uncertainty and isolation, feeling connected to others in a positive way is vital. Creating mobile art helps me do this. It allows me to share my feelings and to express our oneness. It allows me to express my compassion and say we are in this together and I care. But also importantly it allows me to express my sense of hope and gratitude with an invitation to others to feel a moment of peace, of calm, a different focus.
Do you feel that sharing mobile art/photography at this time is spreading a unity of peace?
Connecting on a creative level is such an honest, deeply personal, vulnerable form of connection and without doubt this promotes caring for the other. When we see others sharing and responding with kindness and love, this undoubtedly promotes unity across the world and brings us closer to peace.
Anything else you would personally like to add…
Mobile art is such a joyful process for me. It feeds my creativity, my spontaneity and my sanity. It is a priority in my day. I love being a part of this wonderful community that is always shaped by generosity of spirit. I feel such gratitude for what I have and am part of. I hope we all find untapped resilience as we endure this crisis. Stay safe and well my friends. A very special thank you to Joanne who is simply awesome!
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