Through the Lens IV

Friday, 19 June 2015

Maisie East

Year of Birth: 1994

Where are you living?

Currently living in Norwich, studying at Norwich University of the Arts.

What kind of creative work are you most interested in making?


What elements of your life inspired you to pursue your creativity?

I got a camera for Christmas from my grandparents when I was fourteen, so it must have been around then. Art and photography has always been a part of mine, and my family’s lives, so it was natural for me to gravitate towards photography, its more instant then art and I’m better at it.

Do you have an artistic intention, focus, or message that you try to convey?

I’m trying to figure that part out at the moment, this year I have been looking at deconstructing and distorting photographs, but I’m naturally drawn to photographs that convey a sense of freedom and adventure or emotion. I took photographs at the 2010 student protests in London opposing spending cuts to further education and the cap on tuition fees being tripled and it was a real buzz being able to document it from my perspective.

I’ve chosen this photograph because I took it in the first project of my first year of University at University of East London (I did a year there before transferring to NUA where I am currently ending my second year). Our first project was film based, so we had to take a series of photographs on analogue film and learn how to develop and print them in the darkroom. I was really pleased with this photograph of my sister because I thought I had completely ruined the film, but when I washed the paper into the developer and this perfectly exposed photograph came out I was so pleased and got really good feedback from the rest of the group, it felt like it set me up for that year as people had already noticed my photographs before even knowing me properly.

How do you meet and collaborate with like-minded people?

I’ve found the best way is just meeting people through friends, it’s a more laid back environment to in a classroom, there’s not that pressure to get along as you have to spend the next few years together. By meeting through friends its more likely you have similar interests if said friend has introduced you. 

How do you think the Internet and social media can benefit creatives like you?

I think social media plays a crucial part in getting yourself and your work known, without access to money for exhibitions or ways of getting your work viewed on a large scale the internet serves well. If its easy for people to click a few buttons and see a range of you work without having to even leave their beds then that serves the creative well, people don’t have to buy your book or travel to see your work, which they are unlikely to do unless having already seen your work.

Do you think the Internet has improved your ability to connect with other artists?

I’m not as sure about connecting with other artists so much as having so many artists, photographers, film makers work at your finger tips to browse at really helps to inform your own practice. Its easy to find people that inspire you from across the other side of the world, that maybe only practice their medium as hobby that you otherwise wouldn’t have heard about. 

Thoughts on social media and anonymity?

As much as I hate to admit it social media is such an ingrained part of this generations especially lives now. Its difficult to keep anonymous without trying really hard, but I think it has it benefits. I enjoy looking at photographers I like Instagram feeds, it allows a laid back, more human less professional side to be shown, giving the impression you’re getting to know this person. The down side is, unless you’re already iconic, unless you’re constantly posting and updating then its easy for people to forget about you and follow someone else who’s work is constantly popping up, remind you. 

Website? Social Media?

I have a Facebook page for my photography as well as an Instagram account which can both be linked to via my website

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