2017 Graduate Feature; Emma Watson

Today’s graduate feature is on bachelor art student Emma Watson, yes you’ve heard her name before; she was a part of the ‘Element’s exhibition that was on display for the month of March at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. Once again not the actress!

 

Emma Watson, ‘Folding’, 2016

 

Hey Emma, your final folio ‘Folding’ has been seen and spoken about quite a few times, but going way back; when you first started at PSC what kind of photographer did you imagine you would become?
To be honest I wasn’t entirely certain. I suppose at an earlier point during PSC I envisioned myself to be a major documentary photographer that travels the world. However, I soon realized that ideal didn’t match my personality or style in the slightest and that my work had to be a lot more silent and minimal.

 

How do you describe that style?
It’s a lot more coherent and specific to a narrative. Unlike when I first started where everything I produced was a bit higgledy piggledy, I now feel confident that I can produce a body of work that I know will reflect my personal style and story.

 

What got you started in photography? Was it the higgledy piggledy?
It’s always been second nature to have everything I experience in my life captured through a lens. Photography has always been a part of my life, in fact you’ll struggle to find a time that hasn’t been documented. I’m simply continuing on with what I’ve always known.

 

Emma Watson, ‘Folding’ 2016

 

What do you do when you’re not taking photos?
Mostly I read a lot of fiction. I find it to be a great source of inspiration for new ideas and just a great way to escape reality. It keeps me fresh and broadens the boundaries I unknowingly place on day to day situations.

 

What are you inspired by?
Books, documentaries, movies, diaristic photographic projects, really it’s anything that can change and challenge my point of view.

 

What are you working on at the moment?
Currently I’m in the early stages of trying to organize this concept of an online collaborative project where anyone can partake and submit their story/images. It’ll be a community for self expression, somewhere to be heard instead of ignored concerning specific topics. As I said it’s more of a concept than anything else at this stage.

 

Where do you get your motivation?
I find motivation from my past and present life experiences. All my work is very personal so naturally I draw everything I’ve and seen and felt to help me clarify a visual representation. It’s actually a very therapeutic process.

The chance to collaborate is a pretty big advantage of being at a place with like minded people, would you say that was the most rewarding part of PSC?
Actually, it was a day during my 3rd year where I confided in my beautiful teacher Hoda about the true meaning behind my work. It may sound as quite a small reward but it pushed my work into areas I wouldn’t of otherwise attempted or considered.

Emma Watson, ‘Folding’, 2016

What is the most beneficial thing you have learned in your three years of study?

Naturally I learnt a great deal about the technicalities of photography, but I found that I learnt more about myself than anything else. I’ve now found so many different ways of self expression when words have previously failed me and by doing so have gained a much more profound sense of self and empathy for others.

What was the most challenging moment for you at PSC?
Without question it’d have to be me trying to break down those barriers I’ve built up within myself. The trick I’ve learnt for majoring in any art degree is allowing yourself to feel that vulnerability, to be utterly exposed and honestly raw within your concepts and self. It’s much easier said than done.
Can you give any advice to current students?
You’re going to face a moment when it feels like the world is out to get you. You’ll either lose your files, have no money for printing, or simply can’t break that mental slump of frequently trying to produce new ideas. The best advice I could give to someone at that time is to just ask yourself one question, am I doing this for the love or for the practicality of photography? Because if it’s for the practically you’re going to stop once you’ve reached that goal but if it’s for the love you’ll always continue on with the work.
See more of Emma’s work here

Emma Watson, ‘Folding’, 2016

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