Sep 3, 2012

Paula Smith's camera travels to Japan.

1 Please tell us about the work you will be showing in the 2012 E17 Art Trail?
This year I’m showing photography from a trip I did to Japan.  It was a lifelong dream to travel there and it didn’t disappoint.  Such an interesting country the camera was clued to my face, which is ok because during Sakura (cherry blossom) season the Japanese also have their cameras attached to theirs.

2 Is this your first time in the Trail or are you an E17 Art Trail veteran?
I guess I’m nearing ‘veteran’ status! I’ve taken part for the past few years, mostly showing my London street and cityscape photography and also getting involved in documentary projects as one of the Image 17 photographers (see trail no. 74).

This year I decided to show work from another country to share some of the characters and scenes I came across.     

3 What are the challenges of getting everything ready for your Art Trail event?
The biggest challenge for me is shortlisting images to show.  I had taken hundreds of photographs during my trip and trying to edit them into a small collection that tells a story and is of interest to others is always hard and very subjective.  So, you take a deep breath, select what you love and hope the visitors come and enjoy!   

4 Do you remember the first artist that really influenced you? Does that artist’s influence still have an impact on your work?
I think it would have to be my Grandmother.  She wasn’t an ‘artist’ as such but she loved to paint and from an early age that sent a message to me that it was a rewarding thing to do and something that anyone could do.  Being an impatient painter I took to cameras (aged 8) and it’s something I’ve lived and breathed every since.

Today, I’m influenced and inspired by so many, not least my fellow Image17’ers as well as the classic photographers such as Henri Cartier Bresson, Eve Arnold, Robert Frank, Walker Evans and on and on....

5 The E17 Art trail has become bigger every year. Do you think it is because more artists are calling it home?
Yes, that’s partly true, but many of us latent artists have actually always lived here and the E17 Art Trail has provided a wonderful focus for us to share and collaborate with support and encouragement. 

6 What has E17 bestowed on you?
Home, community, and some amazing awesomestow-ness


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