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"With an open mind": an interview with Katherine Joyce

Our June issue's art comes from photographer Katherine Joyce Robbins, an artist living in Tokyo. We're in love with the movement and moment captured in "dull gem" and are thrilled to feature her work. Katherine recently spoke to us about "dull gem," capturing self portraits, and her other creative endeavors:

1. How do you approach self-portraiture? In what ways -- both expected and unexpected -- does it differ from photographing other subjects? I try to approach self-portraiture with an open mind. To me, self portraits are very intimate, and I usually take them at times in my life I consider important, or if there is a particular emotion I am feeling that I feel I need to capture.

I feel it’s different from photographing other subjects in the fact that it’s almost a healing process. When I’m photographing myself, there’s no stress of directing a model, it’s just you and you can spend as long as you want photographing until you execute your idea, or are satisfied with what you created.

2. In many of your portraits, especially self portraits, there's a captivating sense of motion. Can you discuss the use of movement in your work? I find that I am drawn to a sense of movement, and it can be interpreted in many different ways. For me personally, when the mood calls for it, I feel it gives an ethereal look which I am personally drawn to.

3. "dull gem" is a fascinating title for such an unflinching, vivid -- even sparkling! -- photo. How did you come to that choice? For this photo, I feel though it is day, the lighting is a little dim (it was pretty cloudy that day), and the word “dull” was a word going through my mind after editing.

4. Your website mentions that you write both long-form fiction and poetry. Is there an intersection between your photography and your writing? Does one form of storytelling inform the other? There are often times where they intersect and my photo ideas inspire novels ideas, and my novels inspire photo ideas. It’s an amazing feeling! There are also novels where, someday if possible, I would love to capture scenes from some of my novels in my head with my camera. In fact, in the current novel I’m writing, the whole idea of the plot was inspired by a photo idea I dreamt up.


All art appears courtesy of Katherine Joyce Robbins. For more, visit her website.

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