Home : Interviews Photography : Chris Sidhall
Please tell us about yourself, what made you taking interest in the field of photography
My parents gave me my first camera at age 4 and I have been taking pictures ever since but it was the combination of science with the creativity of photography that made it a really good fit for me. I studied photography for 5 years at the Belgian art school La Cambre.
During my first year, I was fortunate to meet the great French photographer Jean-Pierre Sudre. As Sudre was presenting his slideshow, I realized that photography is more than just capturing a unique image, it is about life itself.
Your gallery seems to have achieved spiritual level, what exactly that you see in the patterns and textures of your object?
I view the texture and patterns as rhythmical elements like as in piece of music.
What is important to me is what the photographer gives of himself in his work. Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote “What is essential is invisible to the eye”. If you just look at a photograph with your eyes, you will see nothing. This is paradoxical, especially when using photography as an artistic medium.
Could you elaborate more when you make a statement "The mind clouds us from understanding who we really are. "
As young children, we are capable of creating great art because we are not afraid of failure or aware of what a good drawing should look like. As we get older, we become self conscious of what we are doing and stop producing great work because our mind is telling us what we should and not do. So as adults, if we can release ourselves from our mind, we can go back to producing uncensored and expressive work again.
Do you practice meditation or Zen or any kind of faith that you relate with your photography? When you say “I use photography as a way to circumvent the mind. To do this, I simply try to clear my mind,think of nothing and just place things around instinctively“.
It is more like a concentration to get into a “zone” where you cease to exist as an individual and become one with everything. I believe this might be very similar to meditation, Zen or prayer.
How much importance you give to your gears when to click the pictures?
I have learned that having the right equipment makes my life as a photographer easier but I did not always have the proper gear and I was able to work around this. I think as long as you understand the limitations of your existing gear, you can manage to still create your work.
Do you think that photography is your way of life? If yes can you explain a bit more about this unique way?
Photography has helped me grow as a person and has given a purpose to my life. It has been a mirror that has allowed me to gain a better understanding of myself and the world around me. For about seven years, I stopped taking photographs and began painting instead because I felt I had gone as far as I could with photography but that turned out to be a false assumption on my part. I know now that photography is a lifelong journey and I have merely started on my journey.
What will be your advice to newcomers in this field?
In order to grow as a photographer, you need to grow as a person. You can grow as a person through the practice of photography but also any other discipline. This reminds me of those kung fu movies where the student who impatiently wants to learn is sent to work in the kitchen for like 10 years before getting any technical training at all. The key is in yourself, not the medium which is just a tool.