Monday, October 20, 2008

Photographer Rachel Watson

Yesterday. All right reserved. © Rachel Watson Photography 2008.

Rachel Watson, creator of macabre delights delivers madness and dark dreams through her beautiful photography. The Red Heart Cult presents photographer Rachel Watson this month as our featured artist for October. I was immediately struck by her love affair with derelict and decrepit places, all told through the view finder. Her photos speak volumes, turning the subject into a feeling of melancholy, lost never-lands and collaborations of old world collections.

She is drawn to places such as empty factories, asylums, abandoned buildings, and corn fields. She just moved from the rural Somerset to the vibrant city of Brighton by the sea. Much of her work features the darker side of life etc. She likes to use subject matters that other people wouldn’t necessarily view as beautiful; such as derelict buildings – most people would walk past them on a daily basis not noticing or paying any attention whatsoever or viewing them as a nuisance or an eyesore. With portraiture she sometimes chooses the shots that maybe convey something a little deeper; darker and hidden, captured when the subject is relaxed or not aware of the camera , and just for a second the false “camera smile” drops and something real and profound flashes across their face.

"I suppose you could say I find beauty in the tragic and ugly places people prefer not to look or visit" says Rachel.

Inspiration comes in many forms from film, art, other photographers, music and books shes read, to past experiences, memories and even emotions. She is a a sucker for an unloved abandoned building, so she is always on the look out for one of those! She feels privileged knowing that not many others would have ventured over the threshold of such a place since its doors closed for the final time. It’s like sharing a secret with someone.

Amongst her collection of dark images she also aquires vintage items, old curiosities, old photographs, things from junk shops. "It’s an exquisite feeling to find something completely unique that has passed through many hands and has a story or a past life attached to it, usually one we’ll never know – more secrets!" She also loves found objects, things people drop or discard, beach glass, and drift wood, most things that are battered and old looking.

"I very much appreciate the aesthetic from a bygone era." Rachel mentioned she would love to visit the ghost towns of South West America – that place has a great wealth of these most of which have been abandoned and left as there were decades ago, which she finds fascinating.

Speaking of the strange and unusual, she is much drawn to the supernatural. Her parents had an extensive collection of books on the paranormal that she used to read and scare herself with as a child. She also finds cemeteries compelling places to visit, particularly the old ones that have been neglected and have fallen in to disrepair, that’s a fascination that also began in her childhood. "Some people might describe me as morbid, which could be true, but I don’t necessarily see it that way. I view it more as just appreciating and having a reverence for the aspects of life some people would prefer not to face up to." Rachel references, "the Victorians were very good at that, as they used to photograph their dead in order to cope with their loss and as a remembrance and a celebration of their life. In more modern times death is very much hushed up and hidden away, which to be honest I don’t think is very healthy or productive to the grieving process."

With her warm welcome into her world, I hope you adore her as much as I do, her sense of visual is so breathtaking. She has a fascinating twist from the bygone era, and she captures the lost worlds like a frozen moment in time. Please visit her at: Rachel Watson's myspace or her Flickr.

Into the Sweet Dark Circle. All right reserved. ©Rachel Watson Photography 2008.
A Head Full of Lighting. All right reserved. ©Rachel Watson Photography 2008.

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