Celeste Burdon | Issue Ten Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your work 

I’m a photographer based in Cork city who primarily shoots as a landscape photographer. I started out as a sculpture when I first went into The Crawford College of Art and Design but really took to photography thanks to the support of Roseanne Lynch. 

My work is very much an extension of my personality and how I go about capturing it. I enjoy the solitude of photography. I enjoy being able to immerse myself and feel insignificant but appreciative of something so much bigger then who I am. It’s amazing to just wait and be patient and take your time within its vastness and seek time with yourself. 

Tell us about the themes you pursue in your work 

My main objective when I’m researching into a new landscape is its lore and history of its inhabitants. The first theme that really captured my attention was the famine walls within Ireland. Their creation is a harrowing one and as I continued to reflect and document them they took on an image of scars within the Irish landscape. 

The work within Iceland is similarly rooted but I delved more into its rich folklore and mythology. 

Within the work created in Iceland I reflect my need to go further into a landscape and document its ability to adapt and change as nature intended. While one can continue to document an area and see the everyday changes, my drive is to illustrate a contend by capturing the impermanent moment as we continue moving forward, expanding what the world means to me and learning what it means to others

What art do you most identify with? any specific influences or research areas?

The art I most identify with would be within medium format photography. I take a lot of my  influence from the photographers Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange. I ended up writing my college thesis on them and the work they did documenting “the expansion and conservation and western shame of the American frontier”. They were exceptional people who really took photography to a whole new meaning for me. They highly influenced  my desire to pursue documentary style photography and what it could do. 

How would you describe your approach to photography?

Photography is my meditation, I approach it to express those emotions and to reflect. 

What is your working process?

I’m still working on it. But in all honesty, It always depends on if I’m working with someone else for a project or by myself. I tend to work more fluidly if the work is specifically for myself. itend to take more cautionary steps if I’m working with others. My editing process would take a few weeks of going through the series of photos every day and seeing something new or taking a photo out if it doesn’t fit the narrative. I still go back to my older work and see if I can see something new.

What is your most essential tool in creating art?

A good pair of boots and a weatherproof jacket. Not to say that my camera isn’t however, the places I most enjoy taking photos in are hard to reach and the weather isn’t exactly dependant. Before you can invest in your work, you, yourself have to be prepared. There’s no telling how long you’ll be out looking for that shot so you’ve got to be prepped.

How do you navigate the art world?

This was a constant question me and my peers had back in college and it was a troubling question. How do you navigate in a world that is built on critic. Art is subjective and the art world can be exceptionally harsh and unforgiving even though we are all fully aware of that fact. We constantly joked that many of the artists we admired didn’t become recognised until after death or much later in their careers after starting. Obviously there will be success at a younger age for hundreds of people but for myself right now, I’m building on conversations with my peers and steadily building a body of work that I’m proud of. I have my whole life to navigate the art world so I’m allowing it to be a slow and steady process. 

Are there any upcoming exhibitions or projects in the works?

Currently I have work up in Alchemy, Cork city. I’d like to build on this body of work before putting up a new show but I have exciting collaborative projects in the works which I can’t wait to be able to share with people.


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