Emma Starr is a freelance writer and photographer based in the heart of Melbourne, and we are thrilled to welcome her into our little team at indie art & design. You will see posts by Emma appearing in our blog over the coming months! Emma loves Melbourne's thriving art market scene, and having worked in several Melbourne boutiques, has a soft spot for stores carrying local talent. We wanted to introduce Emma by showcasing her beautiful work. The cover image for this issue of Feathered, and the photos pictured below represent Emma's vision of Melbourne plus a selection of more personal images.
To create her photographic images, Emma experiments with techniques such as polaroid transfer, inverted polaroid negatives and shooting with expired film to create unexpected effects. Her images are quiet & atmospheric, some feel almost like a painting. You can discover more about Emma's work on her blog, Ginger Caravan, or view more of her prints for sale on madeit and etsy. (Unframed prints range from AUD $28 - $38.)
Emma has described some of her inspirations & techniques below...
After several years overseas I returned to Melbourne with a renewed love for my city. It was so exciting to be back amongst the fabulous design, great food and inspiring people. The sea of creative talent in Melbourne amazes me. It's this creativity that plays such a big part in the thriving energy of this place. With inner-city living and the surrounding streetscapes being a constant inspiration for my own work, I just couldn't imagine living anywhere else.
Melbourne has great city living, diverse public art and dare I say the best shopping in Australia...
The two images above were taken using the iconic SX-70 polaroid camera, with its soft focus and near-square format.
I love the aged appearance of the inverted polaroid negatives. All markings, spots and the patterned borders are caused by the chemical developers in the film. A touch of sepia is applied to enhance the graininess of the image and the prints are made on French cotton-rag papers. (This process was used to create both the image above, and the cover image for this issue of Feathered.)
Pack-film cameras produce 3x4 peel-apart photos...classic polaroids in a wide variety of film.
The alternative developing process of the polaroid transfers gives the photos a pastel-like appearance. The undeveloped negative is imbedded in watercolour paper where the photo develops. Printing on textured-cotton art paper is another step toward a painting-like image.
The urban landscape, an organic still life, captured with a polaroid then preserved on beautiful archival papers...this is what I enjoy creating.