Feather on Bone & other photographs
Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a 15-year-old award-winning photographer and artist. Her photographs have been exhibited in galleries and published in magazines around the world. Paraxis asked her a few questions about her work:
P: Why do you take photographs?
E: I enjoy taking photographs because I enjoy most art forms and photography tends to be more instant. If a composition comes together quickly I'm likely to also create mixed medias. I try to just make the most of the time I have. Seeing as most art is observation in some form or another, photography is just a quicker way to capture what I want to frame of daily life.
P: What are your favourite things to photograph?
E: It’s constantly changing but at the moment I am fascinated with architecture and urban living. Last year my theme was health and relationships and in my first year of photography I was very biodiversity orientated.
P: Which photographers most inspire you?
E: Reza Deghati, Joel Sartore, Chris Johns, Alexander Rodchenko, Cindy Sherman and Rankin.
P: Do other art forms inspire you? Any particular favourites?
E: Classical art books very much so, it helps to map your mind of what exactly is composition. Why does this feel right to my eye? An image delicate in complimenting my sight. There is a fine line between a winning and a losing photograph, even with the subject matter, composition is one of those things I try to learn and improve on.
P: How important is place in your work?
E: I would think quite important, but if I was from anywhere else in the world I would still feel a pride to try and capture people through work and struggle. Sometimes a change of scenery is good but I take most of my "thinking" photos a home. The images with a double meaning, maybe something unusual as an undertone.
P: Do you feel northern landscapes have a particularly strong influence on your work?
E: Yes, one of my photos I took of some snow outside my window won me a shopping spree in vouchers for my birthday and that was second place! The north is fabulous for taking landscapes, especially with the
P: Your photographs instantly suggest stories to me, do you think of them in terms of narrative?
E: Often I do, I used to never do that. It really minimises the rejections I get since I taught myself how to tell a bit of a story in images. All my favourite photos taken by others have that second, third, forth layer of meaning, it is what I love most.
P: Do you find yourself drawn to self-portraiture? What do you enjoy about it?
E: haha, I suppose this is my chance to say that I'm bored off my face. My Mum and friends are featuring a lot more in my photos these days but I would still love to find someone who looks different from me who is willing to model my ideas and share in exposure and any stipends I get. Currently I'm only interested in creative face art so I don't care if someone is short etc (I myself am only 5'2). Maybe I would like to work with another young artist around my age so we could have our own collaborative project. I'm very hands on, travel is a problem though with me being young. I have thought about collaborating in a portraiture project via webcam. The grainy quality would be something a little bit different.
P: I love the way so many of your photographs transform the mundane into something extraordinary. What does transformation mean to you as a photographer?
E: I don't believe in my limitations, I think one day I took an IQ test and it came back with 92 another time it was 124. It saddens me when people doubt themselves about what can be achieved. Transformation for me means becoming anyone, character, animal, turmoil or joy. I don't believe in airbrushing, I love it when people disregard themselves and their beauty because it gives me the chance to try and get an image of them as a front cover of a book or magazine. When I try to transform others I am just trying to bring out another side to them. Nobody should feel they have to be a supermodel to be beautiful.
P: Are there any lost photographs, ones you wish you’d been able to take but couldn’t?
E: Many, many especially in my wildlife photographing stage. Now I've learnt a lot more but I still have a very long way to go.
P: What was the last thing you photographed and what do you want the next to be?
E: The last thing I photographed was my face amongst a load of icicles the next thing I want to photograph is some wind turbines in