Getting to Know Rebecca Rose Harris: An Artist of All Trades (NSFW)

2017-10-29

In the art world, there's an unspoken rule that one has to stick with a single art form: a "'til death do us part" pact between medium and artist. But English artist Rebecca Rose Harris doesn't like to be boxed in four corners. Her photography is a reflection of her other works with various mediums.

Rebecca moves from her camera to her instrument, to her pen, to her pencil, even to her scissors. Everything becomes a canvas for her.

Get to know the artist through her definitive interview with Lomography Magazine.

Hi Rebecca, welcome to Lomography Magazine! It's rare to have someone so versatile in the creative realm. Firstly, as a child, what was your first creative passion?

As far back as I can recall, my desire to translate my emotions and perspectives has been through the medium of the arts, beginning with the camera. I have a distinctive memory of being around four or five, walking out into my back garden where the overgrown lawn, the wildflowers, and the old fig tree were entirely covered in snow, with a blue film camera in my hands. I remember the intense desire I had to capture this feeling of immersion and stillness and preserve it. That intense desire to transform the identity of an intangible force such as an emotion, a space or a vision into a physical form that defies time was something I was always driven by.

How did you get into the other hobbies?

My passion for these other outlets such as poetry, installation, and music came as a natural extension. It was the need to stimulate my mind and to process experiences that have reformed my present. Art for me has always been about the journey of exploration; a means of understanding one's position and personal relation within the realms of the unknown (whether this is internal or external). I strive to do so in as many ways as possible and therefore this has always lead me to take different approaches. I see my process similar to a spectrum of light refracted through a glass prism or as a range of estuaries that all feed into and away from one river.

Every medium is a language, therefore any core philosophy covered will always find itself translated through each medium in turn. A very important part of my work is that every single piece produced has a great sense of ritual in its delivery. The outcome is very much a part of a process, a quintessence that has remained from the journey undertaken. I use every medium in order to go beyond and then to keep going. I guess this is why as I move through different stages of my life I acquire the dialogue of more mediums, as they allow me to break through into specific planes in turn.

Like in your photographs, there's something conscious, collected yet haunting in your other works, like your drawings, music, and poetry. What do you look for to get you into the creative mood?

Recording my dreams first thing in the day always leads me onto a creative and lucid line of thought. This is very important for me as it allows me to listen and communicate with my subconscious. Another portal I cannot get enough of is literature -- books.

Living in isolation and until very recently without internet or signal, it is a process of self-motivation by altering my state of mind through my immediate surroundings and resources when needed. Every single book instills in me something precious and teaches me something very valuable, so if I find myself in a period of stillness or inactivity, I will take a walk by the river through the forest or pick up a book and find my state of mind quickly transformed. Independent foreign films also trigger this sense of inspiration and desire to create.

As a photographer, how would you describe your body of work? What's your style?

My body of work is a constant interpretation and exploration of the unknown. In a darkness that holds the realms beyond knowledge, there is a profound and infinite beauty. I seek to deliver my work with as much honesty and sincerity as is possible. I believe that to reach the visceral parts of a person, you must share your own with openness and clarity. A lot of my work has dealt with my experiences of death and grief and how these elements obtain the power of peregrination between ritual and illumination.

I would say that my style of photography is simplistic but deliberate. Everything in my photographs has purpose, emotion and symbolic defiance. I leave much of the content open to interpretation, to allow my work to communicate with an individual on their own terms. Many of my works reveal their true meaning to me long after their period of creation growing and changing with time - That is the beauty of the subconsciousness’s ability to project into the future.

For the more important part -- it's already difficult to keep one aspect of creative life alive -- how do you keep all of your passions in check and healthy?

I would say that they keep me in check and healthy. The different pathways of creation allow me to constantly question and interpret myself. Through them, I am constantly expanding and exploring the new terrain of both a metaphysical and physical orientation. My work is the vessel in which I move through this world, allowing my mind to remain free.

Where do you draw inspiration from? Who are your muses?

I draw inspiration from countless things; botany, poetry, mythologies, philosophies, psychology, cultures, dreams, religion, rituals, letters, films, my own experiences, death. My muses revolve in the stars above and upon this land, in both the dead and the living; one constant being love and all its tides.

Inspiration comes in many forms, and sometimes we inspire ourselves too. Do you think the poet in you, or the artist, or musician (and the like) sometimes influence you as a photographer, and then vice versa?

Yes, all the time. Each inspires and draws from the other as one fluid entity. I also find that living in natures isolation, I am able to draw inspiration and motivation from the tiers of my consciousness and subconscious without limitation.

8. If you could work, collaborate or meet with any photographer or artist, who would it be, and what would you two be doing?

In response to that question, on this particular day, at this particular moment, it would be the deceased poet Pablo Neurada. I would join him in his house of washed up wood, figureheads of ships and perfectly round stones, open a bottle of good wine and speak to him about his philosophies of life. I would then pass the typewriter back and forth in lines of spontaneous, uninhibited expression.

Describe to us -- what's a day in the life of Rebecca Rose?

A day in my life. A day of creation. The only constant is a cup of coffee first thing as I document my dreams from the night passed. Then the day takes its own form. I try not to govern or direct my days but rather allow them to unfold naturally. I find that to force is to inhabit. I’ll always be passing between different mediums, sketching visions for photographs, writing besides the river, developing rolls of film in my darkroom or working on musical improvisations with my partner Franklin. I often free-fall in my creations, allowing them to appear without accessing them, for this is the language of the subconscious in equilibrium with the consciousness. Come night, If the moon is bright we will watch it rise above the valley. I’ll cook up a feast and we will eat listening to old vinyl.

What do you usually do during your downtime, on days not living the artist's life? Any on-going project, or other plans you're keen to work on?

I don’t see a disparity between the two. For me, my work is constantly evolving as I am and through it, I am exploring the endless tiers that exist within the mind. Therefore I am always creating in one way or another without separation. I am always ready/open to receive information and inspiration. I receive so much inspiration and restorative energy from nature and the eccentric characters that surround us here. I regularly take long walks deep in the black mountains, climbing waterfalls, swimming in fresh rivers and seeking out ancient sites of worship or significance to visit.

I like to move around as much as possible, to explore many different places. I have many on-going projects, the forefront at present is ‘Samana’ the musical collaboration between myself and my partner Franklin which incorporates film, music, poetry, and art into one collaborative entity. We are currently in the process of bringing a secret sculptural installation into fruition which I am incredibly excited about, to be revealed in good time.


Read our first feature of Rebecca here or visit her website and Instagram for her works.

written by Ciel Hernandez on 2017-10-29 #people #art #analogue-photography #rebecca-rose-harris

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