By SPECIWOMEN Photography RUBY ROSE
"I think I was so focused on this concept/style as a teenager because it allowed me the authority to create a place devoid of outside misconceptions, as well as a means to construct narratives based around female characters."
What are you doing currently?
Currently I’m living in Manhattan, New York and attending the School of Visual Arts where I’m pursuing a BFA in Photography & Video.
What got you into photography?
I first became interested in photography when I was around fourteen. Originally, I think it was a means for me to validate myself in some capacity and express my own concept of beauty.
What do you photograph?
Lately I’ve been working on a project based in the American South, which includes still lives, atmospheric portraits of my family members, and environmental vignettes. I’ve also always shot other young women, ever since I began photography.
What messages are you hoping to convey through your photography?
My process and intentions have recently changed quite a bit. I’m really interested in creating narratives about seemingly mundane settings and scenarios, that ultimately create a sense of disquietment. The peculiarities that so often make up what is culturally familiar has always intrigued me. As for some of my older portraits, I was concerned with capturing someone within the context of their personal environment, which still factors into my work.
What is your set up?
All my images are shot using natural light, with a Hasselblad and 120 color film.
Where does your art bring you?
Physically, it brings me outside of New York. All of my recent work was created in Virginia, Georgia, and South Carolina. From a psychological perspective, it definitely delves into my psyche and memories.
What are your favorite places in NYC ?
My bed, hands down. Other than that, I really love places that offer a sense of tranquility, which is somewhat hard to find in New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art for example is really an amazing place to spend time.
Who inspires you and your photography?
So many people.... Lara Shipley, Maude Schuyler Clay, Joe Leavenworth, and Sally Mann to name a few. Other than photographers, I’m also very inspired by writers, especially those of the Southern Gothic or folk genre such as William Faulkner for instance. Also cinema and documentaries (especially true crime) really influence my visual and thought processes.
How is being a woman shaping you?
I think it’s fundamentally shaped me as a person for my whole life. Growing up identifying as female definitely influences how you’re socialized and conditioned to operate within the world. I am a naturally self-contained, introverted person and since I was a child, that has always, been a source of incorrect perceptions about me, largely I think due to my gender. Having that sort of personality and also being a woman, can be very difficult because people seem to assume you are either weak, not intelligent/capable, and only “worthwhile” due to physical appearance, etc. A lot of my earlier work dealt with this notion of living in a fantasy world; I think I was so focused on this concept/style as a teenager because it allowed me the authority to create a place devoid of outside misconceptions, as well as a means to construct narratives based around female characters. Being a woman continues to shape me, my perspective, and artwork each day as I interact with my surroundings.
Slideshow courtesy of Rosie Brock.