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JULIAN HIBBARD Interview

 
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Posted on Dec 13 2012



Apart from recognition, what else does an award bring for you?
Like most people I strive for recognition and respond to praise. I see entering select competitions as a platform to reach a wider audience and an opportunity to spread awareness of my work. On a practical level awards are also a means for me to satisfy certain visa requirements.










When consciously planning and then working on a photograph, how much does the unconscious come into play?
The subtext of the unconscious does play an important role. My pictures are a point of departure into repressed and unclear areas of my mind. The act of starting something is what is important and the finished picture helps me understand that condition. For me the unconscious is like a muscle that needs to be exercised for the more you stimulate it the stronger it gets.









Do your pictures draw from everyday reality or do they strive to make a point or to comment about it, or do they correspond to more abstract ideas?
Iím interested in presenting feelings or sharing experiences I canít express in any other form and at the same time I am drawn to exploring the relationship between reality and representation. For me there is a sense of wonder embedded in the idea that the world we see in pictures is not always the world as it is. Getting close to this enigmatic, spectral, dream-like quality is the reason I take pictures.









In your work, the female figures, in a way, lead an intense existence - why?
The women in my pictures are beautiful and presented as slightly vulnerable. There is a tension because of that. Iíve always been interested in spectatorship and how women are watched, particularly in fashion and film. The female figures in my work seem to lead an intense existence because my pictures reveal the presence of a male gaze and reflect back on how the act of looking is structured.









Are there themes that you find yourself constantly returning to as an artist?
Memory, stillness, exile, desire, spectatorship, conflict, power and powerlessness, the tension between private and public, the nature of fleetingness and the mystery of objects glimpsed in a dream.









Many of your pictures take people's hands or feet as their subjects - is this another way to avoid look at a person's face?

I am a silent storyteller. Cropping both arouses and frustrates the spectatorís need to complete the narrative. Eyes may well be a window into the soul but even without a face the identity of a person can still be discerned, rightly or wrongly, via hands, feet or clothing.









Your pictures seem to have benefitted from the contribution of a fashion stylist - is this so, or is it something that you decide upon yourself? And what is the importance of clothes in your pictures?

Occasionally I have worked with a fashion stylist and when that has been the case their contribution has always been valuable. Many times though the choice of clothing is actually something I intuitively feel and decide myself. Often it seems my images do fall in a place where fashion meets film, where the introduction of simple props or clothing becomes a device on which to hang ideas. As such, and in conjunction with other narrative strategies, Iím attracted to using simple props or garments as a means of creating psychological tension and mystery.








If we asked you to name that picture of yours that means more to you personally than any other, which would it be? And what story does it tell?

My earliest and latest pictures are most interesting for me. Presently I would choose the image of a sunken model ship from my transference series; an ongoing series of analog images that use landscapes made of ice to illustrate gradually melting memories. The picture in question tells a story of something lost and found, something beautiful and sad, something familiar yet unsettling. It is an image that reminds me of chance and accidents. It is an image that causes me wonder and self-reflection. It speaks of the struggle between modernity and nature. It speaks of the past, the present, and the future. It is a story of life and death.






julianhibbard.com



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