“It all started as a study of identity and the self but as I moved along it evolved into a study of emotions and the feeling of connectedness.”
When taking a photo, Lucia Ferreira doesn’t just simply take one. She opens a new dimension to something that is seen to the naked eye as normal. Forming something from nothing, Lulu, as she is sometimes called, uses real life situations for her photograph collections and has been exhibited in many museums. We spoke to the Californian about her journey in becoming a major photographer-
You started off as a Uruguayan photographer and exhibiting artist. What was that like for you?
Uruguay is for me a commonplace, it’s the place I grew up, and when I started taking pictures, it was the only thing I knew. The camera helped me see those commonplaces under a different light and realize how uncommon common places really are. A place where everything seems stagnant was the best place to start looking for stories that seem to run quietly underneath the surface. I honestly don’t know if I would have felt the need to look for those stories if the the place where I started had new exciting things happening every day. That was the beauty that Uruguay provided to me, the quiet space and the boredom.
For your photos, you like to show how fiction is actually a reality by creating a certain stage or setting, which is so interesting! What is it like taking those kinds of photos?
Part of it is really fun and part of it is really tedious. The hunt for the setting, props and the actual shoot are always enjoyable. There’s an excitement that comes with the process of “making things happen” and the uncertainty to know if what I planned is going to work or not. After the picture is done and I get to the digital darkroom, things get a bit more tedious. Sometimes the images I take work sometimes they don’t. The post processing can take anything from a week to a month or more. And at this point of the process is just me, sitting in front of my computer editing for hours at a row.
Your photos are light and airy, but can also show a harsh reality, such as your “Am I Pretty?” collection. What emotions do you feel when showcasing such topics?
You always need darkness to compliment the light and even if I do a lot of “light and airy” I’m also aware of the “dark and heavy” side. But talking about the emotions that personally come to me when thinking about “Am I pretty” I’d say emptiness and the sense of sleepwalking through life.
What inspired some of the ideas for the “A Flor De Piel” collection?
That project started while I was back in Uruguay staying at my parents house for a month, which is the house I grew up in. My parents had just finished repainting the walls of the house and one of the rooms was left completely empty for me to use as a studio. It was like being on an artists retreat at the house I grew up in. This was much more improvised than other works, I didn’t have anything planned or an idea beforehand. It all started as a study of identity and the self but as I moved along it evolved into a study of emotions and the feeling of connectedness.
You’ve exhibited in many museums such as Moscow MOMA in Russia and The Modern Art Museum of Chiloe in Chile. What was that experience like for you?
There’s always a lot to learn from those instances. Art after all art is to be shared and experienced by others. And it is in those instances where you can see how people react at whatever you are expressing through your work. It is always humbling to see how many times your ideas are interpreted in such different ways then you were expecting. In this sense, it doesn’t matter what location you are showing your work and the prestige that place has, the only thing that matters is that the people there are willing to engage with art and let art take them different places.
Where do you hope to showcase your art in the future?
Anywhere there is people to engage with. I now have my work on display at a Public Library in LA and I really like the idea of taking the work to public spaces.
Check out Lucia’s photographs on her official website and her Instagram.