Wavepool – How would you describe your work to someone who is being introduced to it for the first time? What are some common threads running through everything?
Collin Avery – I would describe my work as quiet mediations of the everyday. I have always had a fascination with my immediate environment and unlike many photographers who travel extensively to find subject matter, most of my work is derived from familiar situations that are taken out of context. A large part of my work deals with nostalgia, perception, and memory. I see photography as a puzzle that can influence or change perceptions of the artist’s true intentions depending on how one interacts with certain arrangements of work.
Wavepool – What are some factors that you think have influenced your aesthetic?
Collin Avery – I find that my aesthetic often mirrors my personality. As a child I was shy and introverted; and as a way to avoid confrontation, I would often disappear into a room and lose myself in my surroundings. This tranquility eased my anxiety as well as heightened my senses. I would describe it as a state of reflection and introspection.
Wavepool – Your compositions are very smart, and I’m interested in learning more about your decisions on what should be included in the frame. Some of your choices make the scenes depicted appear as simultaneously beautiful and slightly awkward to me. Can you describe your image making process?
Collin Avery – My process is very informal and I try not to give myself any clear rules or regulations. I am always looking and observing much more than actually making photographs. When composing a photograph in the field, I try to give the viewer the least amount of information in the frame to allow for their own associations and interpretations. By grouping certain images together and leaving captions vague, I hope to inspire different ways of viewing common objects and spaces.
Wavepool – It seems like you take a few different approaches when photographing. For example, images in Remain Calm are observational while those in Artifacts are constructed. Do you have a preferred method for working?
Collin Avery – I enjoy mixing it up to keep things fresh and exciting. Working solely in one area becomes very repetitive, so I am constantly experimenting with methods to evoke different feelings or emotions. Right now I am getting back into an observational approach that is more instinct driven and less fabricated in the studio.
Wavepool – I’m intrigued by your image titles in Artifacts. Many are simple descriptions of the subjects within the photographs, while others insert some emotional and narrative elements. Can you share some thoughts on this observation?
Collin Avery – All of the objects and fabrics used in this series are from my grandmother’s house where I spent much of my childhood. When I traveled back east to visit my family for the first time since spending a year in Los Angeles, I was confronted with these inanimate objects that had little to no value but provided me with an immediate sense of home. I became interested in the idea that I could use these objects as historical artifacts that would create a dialogue between my own memories and the objects themselves.
Wavepool – How has your practice evolved as you’ve continued making work? Do you find yourself working differently than you used to?
Collin Avery – I believe artists are always evolving in their practice. With that being said, the past couple of years have been somewhat experimental in my process. I have gone through my ups and downs trying to figure out the best method of producing new work as well as staying excited with what I am photographing. I think the biggest lesson I have learned is to always stay true to yourself and your intentions as an artist.
To see more, please visit Collin’s website.