Fotografía joven en Londres (I): Patricia Karallis

Patricia Karallis (Mildura, Australia) es una joven australiana que desde 2006 vive, estudia y trabaja en Londres. Su obra fotográfica gira alrededor de la investigación cultural e identitaria y es el íntimo resultado de mezclar el trabajo documental con el retrato. La calidez y la sensación de soledad que transmiten sus imágenes viene dada, seguramente, por la elección de la fotografía analógica y la luz natural como principios creativos de unas obras donde el grano y el tono marcan una continuidad.

Con el proyecto «On the Cusp» (2012), Patricia se acerca al tema del «transgénero» de un modo mucho más intimista que los estereotipos tradicionales, en una especie de aproximación antropológica a una identidad de género muy concreta. Las fotos de la serie han estado tomadas con modelos voluntarios que se han dejado retratar en espacios e indumentaria con los que se sienten confortables. Y el resultado es una serie de imágenes honestas de personas en las que la condición «transgénero» aparece naturalizada como un elemento más de la identidad individual.

Patricia Karallis - On the cusp

Patricia Karallis, "On the cusp" (2012)

Patricia Karallis, «On the cusp» (2012)

Os adjunto un fragmento de la entrevista que hice a Patricia para el catálogo de la exposición colectiva «International Photo-Graph-East-in London» en The Vyner Studio, una actividad paralela al consolidado festival de fotografía de East London Photomonth:

What happened to an Australian girl, from the small Mildura, that moved 6 years ago to London, and why have you stayed?

The plan was for me to stay for a year but I somehow managed to live here on a more permanent basis. I’ve always had a love/ hate relationship with London; it’s the type of city where there’s a lot to take advantage of culturally – that is, if you have enough money to take advantage of it, but overall it’s quite tough. The weather is generally pretty bad, people can be quite moody, but when things start falling into place (as they slowly do), there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. It’s definitely a city that pushes you and I don’t think I would’ve gone back to photography if I hadn’t moved here.

Do you think that an artists environment shapes their works? Is the relationship between Mildura – London influencing yours?

I think environment shapes an artists work to a degree. Being in London has definitely exposed me to new people, experiences and influences I wouldn’t normally have had the opportunity to in Australia, which has helped me to focus on what type of photographer I want to be. For me, the relationship between the 2 cities and my relationship with them both is completely different, however I feel that my aesthetic is still the same.

Your photography is the intimate result of merging documentary work and portraits, how do you do this?

Lots of shooting and lots of editing.

And, if you had to tell me the topics and references of your work, what would you say to me?

I guess you could say I’m usually drawn to themes surrounding identity, culture and/ or class. The majority of the portraits on my sites are friends, family, or people I’ve met during different projects. I love Lise Sarfati’s portraits and she was a major influence on my last series On The Cusp. I love the feel of her photographs, they’re quite cinematic and I like the fact that she uses film and natural light; this is an aesthetic I also prefer when shooting portraits. There’s a sense of loneliness and maybe yearning in her photographs that I really connect with. I also love the work of Paul Graham. I went to see his retrospective show at The Whitechapel Gallery last year and it blew me away.

How does the analogue photography for your portraits tie together?

I love the richness, the grain and the colours of shooting film, as opposed to digital. I have a couple of portraits on my site that were taken with digital and for me, they stand out. I think what generally ties my portraits together is the tone and warmth of the photographs.


Let’s focus in “On the Cusp”, the series which is shown in “Photo-Graph in East London”. Where does the magnetism of these characters reside?

On The Cusp was my degree final year project. I wanted to focus on a particular subject that I think is very relevant but sometimes shunned or difficult for people to understand. I also wanted to approach it in a new, different way. People who identify as transgendered have often been sexualised or portrayed with the use of stereotypes and cliches. I wanted to move away from that by having the portraits taken in each sitters home and in clothes they feel comfortable wearing day to day, with the final outcome hopefully being an open and honest discussion with people of all sex, gender and preferences. I think this is what initially draws people in; these are everyday people in everyday environments.

Patricia Karallis, "On the cusp" (2012)

Patricia Karallis, «On the cusp» (2012)

Texto original en el blog ‘Historias de Arte’.

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