In advance of launching our 4th round CSA (shares go on sale Monday, September 19), we are publishing short interviews with the six featured photographers to get to know them and their work a bit better. This is Sandra Jordan!
Your work has traditionally been about solitude in remote locations, but lately you have been photographing in cities. What inspired you to explore similar themes in a much more chaotic place?
It started out because of logistics really - it’s not currently financially viable for me to constantly be traveling to the Arctic and I found that, when not traveling, my camera spent the majority of the time sitting in the cupboard. I started taking my camera out with me when in London and, knowing that I am not a street photographer, began searching for something to shoot. It was then that I started noticing all the varied architecture, particularly the more brutalist/modernist style. Something about them pulled me in, their almost human-like appearance consisting of repetitive shapes, details and units within units, they all had their own individuality. I continue to be fascinated by them.
What inspires you to photograph?
A lot of my photography is based on gut reaction, I either like something instantly or I don’t, but overall I am drawn by the idea that I get the chance to document something that may never be the same again. In this modern world where things are continually changing, I love that I am able to preserve a moment in time. The whole creative process, from initial research to the final print, is something that I find good for my soul.
Photography also allows me to completely switch my mind off to any ‘chatter’ and just concentrate on the process at that time. Nothing else does that for me, life is always busy and, at times, can be rather stressful, so it’s great to have that as a calming tool. Whereas in my film job (which I left earlier this year to pursue photography full time) I had to think of countless things all at once, photography allows me to concentrate just on that one current moment.
How was the ILFORD paper selection process for you? What are your impressions of their catalog of papers? (ILFORD has generously donated paper to each of the photographers to use for their CSA photographs.)
It has been great to have the opportunity to look at and experiment with the ILFORD papers that they sent me to try out. In my film days I used to use ILFORD film but since switching to digital, and being a bit of a creature of habit, I have been using the same paper for a while. There are various papers within the ILFORD GALERIE Prestige range that I think would work really well with different images of mine. On this occasion I chose Gold Fibre Gloss. I was really impressed with how the final print looked, I love the detail and tonality this paper has brought out in my image.