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In October 2018, renowned artist and photographer, Patricia Ramaer, undertook an art residency on the Barquentine tall ship, Antigua, on an expedition to the High Arctic. Inspired by the first explorers and pioneers, Patricia displays the raw remoteness and unique purity of the Arctic, capturing a sense of timelessness and transience all at once.
AUTHOR is delighted to feature a selection of photographs by Patricia taken in the Arctic that are exquisite and powerful, printed in Scotland to be exhibited in the home. Patricia kindly sat down with us to answer some questions about her inspiring work.
Where did your passion for making your items come from?
My passion comes from a strong desire to document a person or place in a deeply personal and profound way. It’s more a capturing of the energy and spirit than anything.
Were you always interested in creating things from childhood?
Yes! I wanted nothing other than a camera and was photographing the world at seven years old and in the darkroom at ten. I was also always drawing and making objects of all sorts. My earliest paintings were of ice, blue waters and polar bears.
How did your business start? What led you into it?
I was the school photographer at 13 and would hang up my photographs in the school hallway and sell them, printing the orders myself. I became a freelancer (graphic design and photography) during my time at art school in my early 20’s and never looked back.
Where do you draw your inspiration from for your pieces?
My works are a tribute to the realms of the unseen, ancestors, memory and time/space/matter.
Landscapes: My landscapes taken in remote locations are much the same. The pioneers, the first explorers and the raw purity of these places inspire me. I want my images to hold a certain energy, beauty, nostalgia and feeling of timelessness.
Burned portraits: I’m mesmerised by early photography, photographs of people long gone, remnants of ephemeral lives held in the material of the moment. Spellbound by the mere magic of photography, what it is and is not. I often use substances that are transient, symbolic of our own transience as human beings. I create through process of destruction, giving another form to the things that once were. I explore immateriality through materiality, the thin places that lead to a greater mystery.
What is your favourite part of the making process?
I love the moment of taking a photograph and knowing that I’m acting as conduit of sorts, a portal to other worlds, for viewers to see this energy through my eyes. With the burned portraits there is always a thrill as I never know what will manifest, using burning as a method, even using the same image, it comes out differently every time. I do love the conceptual aspect of the making process as well.
Is there any specific part you enjoy the most or do you enjoy the overall process as a whole?
I love researching about the past. If I’m going anywhere I love to connect to the locals. I’m often to be found in archives looking for quirky facts and old photographs and images for inspiration before I even start on a project or artwork series.
My practice is a ritual. I like to follow the energy and find where it takes me. I find that this is where the magic happens. I’m not really a technical artist. It’s much more about heart and soul for me.
Do you have any particular design heroes or other makers your work has been influenced by?
I love artists like Chiharu Shiota. She has inspired me to think bigger (also doing more installation work and using thread). And have a soft spot for many fine art photographers. My main two are both artists that use vintage processes playfully, Ben Cauchi and Yves Lecoq. Each of these artists plays with a sense of mystery and time/space/matter in a conceptual way.
Anything else in particular you’d like to mention about your work?
I love to inspire people. To be creative and to stay inspired and do what you most love. Daring to continuously take on new challenges (like doing my Masters as a mature student) and give up my life as I knew it to move and do that and learn new things. It’s maybe not the easiest path, but it’s been greatly rewarding! I am very inspired by Joseph Campbell (the Hero’s Journey) and his quote ‘the only safe path is the unsafe path’ and ‘follow your bliss’.
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