Interview: Amarildo Topalis
Her work is often a reminiscence of battles for the liberation of light from darkness, with explosions of colours in a space with no gravity.
Always water, why?
Growing up in Hawaii I remember myself always loving water. I learned from my father to have a deep respect for water and the ocean and was always in it, from surfing, boogie boarding, water ski- ing, and knee boarding, to kayaking, swimming, boating and beneath beautiful water falls. This is “natural” love to me. Water is life. It is life giving and nurturing to the soul.
The challenges of shooting in water constantly push me to grow and see things differently. It’s exciting because it feels like I’m breaking the rules of the physical universe and it takes a lot of patience, which I’m not known for, so this is good for me. Water is uncontrollable in many ways, so taming it for the shoot can be very difficult and exhil- arating at the same time. I love being fascinated by these challenges while surrounded by the beautiful water.
Are the photo shoots done only in pools with models, or, in lakes and seas with everyday people?
The first experimentations I performed were done in pools, the ocean, and in bathtubs. But ultimately the best control I have over the final image is in a pool, because of the clarity of the water and the acces- sibility it provides. But, I will start venturing into the ocean on some of my next shoots.
Your pictures look like European teachers. What is the true incentive?
The true incentive was to express what was inside of me, a search for freedom. I am obsessed with movement, drama, figures, light and shadow, and the sense of something greater than one’s self, and these are the things that I may have in common with those periods of art. Yet, it was never my intention to create works that were like paintings, but rather something that was more a part of me and hap- pened as a result of my experimentations in water. And life led me here, on this path of creation that I’m on. Looking back I can say that my love for creating images that were beyond reality, and questioned reality as it is today, has played a big part in this style of creation. And my search for freedom is always the driving force.
Do you see any new trends or artistic movements today in the US and if so, are there any specific samples?
This is a beautiful time in art where all of our senses are being used to experience what is around us. I see a trend towards more of this full experience of visuals, sounds, touch, smell and visceral emo- tions. And I see a trend towards involving the spectator in the art, so that they become one.
How do you picture the art of photography in the future?
Moving. I see images that are alive and breathing. And new realities being created with the use of post production tools that are beyond anything we can imagine.
You also express your art through video. Could you share a few thoughts concerning your need to do so?
Video is the most exciting thing for me, and at the same time the hardest to capture in water. But this is where I’m moving, into art video expressions and stories that take us on the same journey into this emotional world of wonder and magic. This is what I’m working on now and trying to perfect in the water.
The motto of our magazine is “Look inside yourself”. What’s yours?
Always be true to yourself.