The PrintShop @PSC is renowned for working with photographers with incredible careers in Melbourne and across the world. In the month of May, Peter Hatzipavlis at the PrintShop was happy to manage and finesse the printing as well as imaging services for Sanja Pahoki – one of the most sought after figures in photography, having showcased her work in 14 solo exhibitions across Australia.
Sanja tells us about her current series that was printed recently at the PrintShop:
‘This is a series of images that I took on an iPod back in 2010. They were taken on a ferry from St.Petersburg to Helsinki. I had just had an inspired moment in front of some paintings by the Russian painter Kazimir Malevich. He is well-known for his non-figurative paintings and Suprematism manifesto. You can see that I am trying to abstract the forms inside the cabin in the ferry. The images will be included in an upcoming exhibition ‘Long-distance relationship’ at Mailbox gallery in the CBD curated by Andree Ruggeri. Andree has written about the show, ‘Iconic images from the early 20th century Russian avant-garde are continually appropriated, renegotiated and deconstructed in contemporary creative practice. This exhibition traces links and various disconnects between recent Australian and Russian art, and the constructed logic and geometric formalism of Suprematism and Constructivism. Video, photography, print, and installation mirror the multi-disciplinary nature of the Russian avant-garde, as a distant and complex period enters our own time and place.’
Sanja’s journey as a photographer:
‘I first started taking photographs at high school. There was a little b&w darkroom and I used it to print images of my dog, Tiny. I always remember being interested in photography, I think this comes from my father. In Croatia where I was born, my father earned a little extra money by working for a commercial photographer. We lived in a one-room apartment. I have these vivid memories of waking up in the morning and of seeing rows of prints and negatives hanging from strings around the apartment.’
‘In high school I really got into photography. The first job that I had was delivering pamphlets. It took all year to save up for my first camera, $200 for a Pentax K1000. I used to take lots of photographs of my friends and on trips to Jan Juc. I set up a little darkroom in a rental property and used to print all of my negatives. I had a preference for b&w. I enrolled in a CAE (centre for adult education) photography class with Moira Joseph, she was very encouraging of my photography and said that I had a good eye. So I kept doing it until I got to the point where I decided I wanted to do this more seriously. Back in high school I had thought about doing photography as a profession but it didn’t strike me as being very realistic. At that time I was concerned with how I was going to make a living. As I got older I found that it was more important to try and do something that you love.’
On working with Peter…
‘I was first introduced to Peter through ex-head of photography at the VCA, Christopher Koller. My digital skills are rudimentary so Peter is essential to the production of my work. I love that he comes from an analogue photography background as he is able to translate my film-based files to prints of the highest quality. I am quite fastidious when it comes to my images and working with Peter I feel I can achieve some of the results I used to be able to do by myself in the darkroom. I also like how dedicated and punk Peter is. He’ll put in the long hours to make sure that a project is achieved to the highest standard and on time. Sometimes I feel guilty for taking him away from his family.’
We thank Sanja for her time and look forward to attending her group exhibition show, ‘Long-distance relationship’ on 8 June – 2 July (with the exclusive opening on 9 June at 6pm), at Mailbox Art Space, 141-143 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, VIC 3000. Additionally, you can always visit the PrintShop @PSC for premium printing services. Find out more about opening hours here.