Welcome to this weeks Artist Spotlight. Our weekly feature on the blog, showcasing artist with a clear and unique voice in instant photography. This week we are happy to feature the work of Sarah Seené.
I know I say this every feature, but please please PLEASE, check out Sarah’s links when you are done here. Her work is amazing and the details she adds after the shot truly make her an artist.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
“I’m Sarah Seené, a French 25 years-old-girl, fascinated by the power of image. I’ve been a director of fiction and experimental short films for a few years and I’m a polaroid addict.
My world is a strange atmosphere between poetry and anxiety. I color my polaroids of childhood, dream and fear, in the idea of suspended time with worlds which I made by modifying the reality.”
How did you get into instant photography?
Two years ago, a French photography shop organized a polaroid contest on the theme “Your magic universe”. This theme has inspired me a lot and I never left my polaroid camera ! What interests me in the instant photography is its spontaneity, suspense, surprise and, of course, the magic grain of the Polaroid, inimitable. When the polaroid goes out, my heart is beating at top speed ! For me, instant photography is synonymic of emotion and sensation !
What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?
Since I began to work with polaroid, I use a Polaroid 636 Close-‐up camera of 1992, which my dear aunt gave me. When I was a child, I already used this device to photograph my grandmother’s animals… And for a few months, I have a wonderful SX 70 Sonar camera.
What instant camera have you not shot with, but would love to try?
I dream to use a polaroid Macro 5 SLR. It’s a very big camera which seems to be a scientist object. With that, I would love to try to shot insects, and then superpose them on faces pictures…
What’s your favorite Impossible film or pack film type?
I love color and silver shade films by Impossible Project. I mostly use PX 680 Cool and PX 600 Silver Shade UV Black Frame which I sometimes mix in superposing. I’ve just also discovered the new film PX 680 Color Protection : its colors are sublime that I am going to become addict to it !
How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?
Instant film is my principal activity for one year ! I made videos too and a documentary about a French plastician, but every weeks I shot, and shot again polaroids.
How would you describe your voice or vision with instant photography? (does it differ from your other work?)
People say about my instant photography work that is mysterious, feminine, and dreamlike. I prepare my polaroids a lot. It is the contrast between the direction and the speed of the development that interests me. During one hour or two, I set up costumes, sets and make-‐up which are going to give sense to the central characters of the polaroid. I color my polaroids of the pictures of childhood, dream and fear, in the idea of suspended time. My vision of instant photography is to create a new world with elements of reality.
Any personal projects we should know about?
I just began a new series, “Le bestiaire enchanté” (“The enchanted bestiary”) with portraits of animals. And I have a wonderful international project, The 12.12 project, with 11 other instant photography women (Penny Felts, Carmen de Vos, Amanda Mason, Kat White, Emilie Trouillet, Maritza de La Vega, Emilie Le Fellic, Marion Lanciaux, Rachael Baez, Agafia Polynchuk and Rihannon Adam). Every month each photographer chooses a theme, one that challenges each other, pushes each artist out of their comfort zone, and generates creative photographic responses to powerful thought starters. Once the project is finished, a published book and a touring worldwide exhibition will allow these interpretations to be seen by all.
What other photographers do you look up too?
My favorite photographers are Joël-‐Peter Witkin, Sarah Moon and Tim Walker. In instant photography, I love the work of Stefanie Schneider, and Claire Oring, and so many others polaroiders that I discovered on the Impossible Project website.
What advice would you give to someone just getting into instant photography?
Indulge himself/herself and follow his/her mental images !
Where does your inspiration come from? Do you seek it out or wait till it finds you?
My models, most of the time feminine, are the ones that I love, my Mom and my friends. I like inventing stories, universes, characters that inspire me. What interests me through my fabrication is the feelings, inspired by people, nature and animals.