REDEFINE | VISUAL ABSTRACT INTENTIONALITY FEATURE BY JONYA STREEPER

Tell us about what drives your work, How did you get started?

I started shooting in high school and because I was desperate not to be there, I enrolled in college photography and darkroom classes. I applied my new skills to what I loved and took photos of punk bands through the 90’s. I didn’t really pick up a camera again until I had my first child.

My work is driven by a desire to contain life’s chaotic day to day energy and anxiety, and to channel it into visual expression. Photography can be a powerful tool for processing loss, love, and things beyond our control.

Your images have a very retro and minimalistic feel, do you aim to capture that in any way?

I’m not deliberately seeking a retro feel in my work, but my subject matter and locations may invoke a sense of nostalgia. I’m usually creating photos of my children in a minimal environment often devoid of any information that may ground the image in a contemporary context. I am drawn to minimal and abstract imagery and love capturing weird liminal spaces that may exist only for a moment.

Would you say that is your desired style of shooting?

Experimenting with double exposure and out of focus imagery is where my interest is right now. The layers and oddness I can capture between making lunches and dropping off kids at school etc is very satisfying for me.

We also see a lot of architecture environment in your work, can you share more on that?

We live in a Rummer, which is basically the Oregon version of an Eichler. We fell in love with it all the way from California and decided on a whim to move even before really knowing much about what we were in for. As we’ve grown from two adults to a family of four, we’ve really enjoyed adapting to living in a minimalistic environment, and we love how it contrasts so dramatically with the beautiful landscape of the Pacific Northwest. My photos document the growth of our family in the same space as it has evolved to meet our needs.

What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to achieve your desired style of shooting? (aim for at least 5, but any are welcome)

I don’t know if I have any tips! I shoot from instinct influenced by my daily life. Just find a subject matter and technique that speaks to your heart. Play and explore until it feels right because there really are no rules to self-expression. Also, much can be said for the confidence gained by putting yourself and your work out into the world.

Share an artist who inspires you a photographer or otherwise?

Oh man, this is a tough one, though I’d have to say my husband Bradley, whose paintings have been used many times in my photos. I sometimes use his work to add texture to my double exposures. He pushed me to move beyond just taking a photo and into a state where I’m creating something personally meaningful. He has helped me open my work to be different and by adding layers that may not always work together to create something visually interesting. He inspires me to embrace my awkwardness and use it to make something different. Watching his creative process inspires me to try and spark the imagination and provoke an emotional response in the viewer.

 

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ABOUT THE ARTIST :

I was born and raised in San Diego. I received my BFA in art history from San Diego State University. The continuous perfect weather of Southern California drove me to move to the PNW. I currently live in Portland, Oregon in a glass house full of wonderful maniacs. I am available for commission portraits and other fine art projects.

 

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