Artist Inquisition: Celeste Larkins
Ahead of our upcoming group photography show SHOOT V2, we've gathered a bunch of our favourite camera wielders whose work will be featured during the exhibition and asked them some stuff about their art, what drives them creatively, and other delightful textual chit chat of a similar nature. We call this an Artist Inquisition, and here is the result of one completed by Celeste Larkins. Enjoy!
- Tell us a little about the photos you've chosen to include in the SHOOT V2 exhibition at Melbourne Arts Club.
My photographs were taken last year in November when I was in Nepal doing a trek in the Annapurna region and met some of the most humble and happy people. The Nepalese people were just as beautiful and vibrant as their surrounding environment. Prior to colour alterations and enhancements the photographs were beautiful on their own, however I wanted to emphasis the connection between the people and their environment and hope viewers take a deeper look. I feel like many have become so used to nature images, that photographs in the Himalayas might not be something new to most eyes. I wanted to present the photographs in a way that would make people not only take notice of the famous natural environment but the people who call it home.
Community Gathering, by Celeste Larkins
- How did you first get involved in art - were you one of those little kids who always loved being creative, or is it something that came later?
I've always loved art but thought it was always something I would appreciate but couldn't create. I couldn't draw or paint and have no sense of hand eye coordination. I always loved taking photos but was too scared to do anything further, until I started my course at Deakin, then I let it take over everything. When I discovered photoshop and photographic manipulation I was able to take something and warp it into something else that I envisioned but would struggle to maybe draw or paint, but now had other tools like photoshop to assist.
- Where do you make your art, and how long is the process for you? Is it a slow burn and you find yourself working on pieces over a long period of time, or when inspiration strikes, it's all done and dusted relatively quickly?
Usually at home on my laptop. Sometimes I'll go a few weeks without making anything, but then sometimes I'll spend three days straight making heaps of images. When I say I do things in my room it's mainly editing. When I take photographs it's whenever I go away or camping, and then I'll edit in my room or manipulate old and new images.
- How does living and working in Melbourne influence your work?
I don't think where I am living really influences my work, it just depends on what pops into my head or what I might see on the street or somewhere that influences me but not necessarily Melbourne specific. Don't get me wrong, I do love Melbourne!
- Who or what do you turn to for inspiration on days when creativity just isn’t flowing?
Tame Impala's music has been a major influence on me and my work, more of my manipulated works. Sometimes if I go for a walk and/or listen to them, it'll usually spark up something for sure.
- What is your favourite artwork of yours and why?
I have two different types of work I create, straight photography and photographic manipulation. The crystal bowl is my favourite straight photography work because of how something so mundane and average can become an object of extreme beauty under different light. The underwater/weird texture photo I love cause I did it with my iPhone of two photographs layered and inverted, I just think it's really cool how we can make art out of anything even our phones.
- What is your favourite artwork of someone else's, and why?
Leif Podhajsky and Neil Krug are definitely two of my favourite artists. But one of my favourite works/series is Neil Krug's Mirrors.
From the series Mirrors, by Neil Krug (www.neilkrug.com/Mirrors)
It just makes me stare at it and think 'how'. Some people think anyone can be a photographer and take photos with any camera and I've heard some say photography's not an art form, but then you see work like this or some of his other work which just proves otherwise. You can create so much from one photograph, whether it's the original or manipulated. And his work presents it so well.
- Is there an artwork in this exhibition that you’re most proud of, or one that has a particularly interesting or funny backstory?
The old lady in the blue field I find the most interesting. She reminded me of my Thai grandmother, who also lived in a village. Women who live in villages in often poor countries work so much harder than I will ever know. You can see her years of hard work in her skin. There doesn't seem to be a retirement age, you just go on working and being busy, always something to do; but never complaining.
- What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
Do what makes you happy - it's so commonly said but it's the most important thing, and I've got to remind myself every now and then.
- What question do you wish we'd asked you, and what would your answer have been?
What is your ultimate career/life goal?
Creating album artwork .... for Tame Impala or Mac Demarco ... Or both