Rfotofolio wishes to thank all the photographers that shared their work. Thank you France Scully Osterman for your time in this endevour. We know it was not an easy task.
Thoughts from France Scully Osterman on her choice of winning photograph,”Persona / Anima Series #1 ” by Annette Fournet.
“This body of work is good on so many levels. It’s an interesting idea which is well crafted; the selection of images are balanced with the choice and execution of technique. While the two layered images at first seem disparate, the choice of delicate subject matter and subtle colors are carefully matched. In the first (front) image, petals are thoughtfully arranged. The viewer is then transported through to a second image which is a portrait. Focus is on the front image with the secondary image is slightly softened, which gives the feeling that the portrait comes from another era. Not all beauty is literal or superficial. This beauty is both ethereal and compelling, demanding that the viewer learn more about this image and this artist’s work.”
” This series is based on the expression of the persona (external projection of self) and the anima (inner soul). I believe that the perception of beauty is based on these elements of personality“. Annette Fournet, 2013
Would you please tell us a little about yourself?
Currently, I live and teach photography in Memphis, TN. I have also lived in New York, NY; New Orleans, LA; San Diego, CA; Lincoln NE; and Beaumont, TX. The last 20 summers I have lived and photographed in Eastern Europe. I’ve exhibited in seven countries, including the Republic of Kyrgyzstan.
How did you get started photography?
At age seven I took possession of my parents Baby Brownie until they realized that I was taking the film to be developed at the local drugstore, and charging it to their account. I bought my first SLR in high school. My boyfriend’s father was a doctor so I learned to develop film and print in his x-ray lab. I knew then that I wanted to go to an art school and study photography.
Which photographers and other artists work do you admire?
The Symbolist painters, Josef Sudek, Josef Koudelka, Graciela Iturbide, Clarence John Laughlin.
And what about their work inspires you?
The symbolist painters were a misogynist lot, but I admire their determination to reject 19th century middle class reality in favor of exploring the mystical, spiritual, esoteric essence of a person or thing over the actuality of the thing itself. Sudek, Iturbide, and Laughlin share that ability to make magical and metaphorical images. I love Koudelka’s strong compositions, especially in his panoramic landscapes from the Black Triangle Series.
When did you start to develop a personal style?
I think that you can’t really develop a personal style until you understand all of the psychological and emotional motivations that drive the concept of your work. This occurred after graduate school during the disintegration of my first marriage. I was photographing scenes of renovation and deconstruction in Europe and realized that I was essentially making images about the end of my marriage. This led to “Domestic Decay” a body of work I made in Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee in the late 1980’s.
Please tell us about your process and what the perfect day of photography is for you.
A perfect day of photography is driving alone, on back roads, discovering and photographing unexpected things on a journey from one village to another in Eastern Europe.
What challenges do you face as a photographer?
I teach five or six classes a semester so finding time for the darkroom is my biggest challenge.
With the rapid changes in how people make and view a photograph, how do you view this time in the history of photography?
At the moment we seem to be caught between two movements. One dictated by the art scene that seems to eschew black and white photography in favor of large color images usually portraits, and at the other end of the spectrum is what appears to be a movement by photographers themselves, reacting to or against technology. There is a resurgence of alternative processes, use of toy cameras, instagram, and other forms of cell phone photography.
How do you overcome a creative block?
I try to break up my routine by giving myself assignments, such as making images using a certain piece of music as the inspiration, or following sounds in a city to find images.
How does your art affect the way you see the world?
I think it goes the other way around, the way I see the world affects the way I make art. I see so much that is disappearing, especially in Eastern Europe where things remained relatively unchanged for forty years behind the Iron Curtain and changed so quickly after the Velvet Revolution.
Is there another type of photography or subject matter you would like tackle?
I would like to photograph in Asia, particularly in Japan. I also want to work with a panoramic camera.
Where can we see your work? Would you like to share any upcoming projects?
My webpage is aefournet.com. My silver gelatin prints can be seen in the Joseph Bellows Gallery in La Jolla, CA; Thomas Deans Gallery in Atlanta, GA; and Afterimage Gallery in Dallas, TX.
Thank you Annette for sharing your work.
To see more please visit her website at Annette Fournet