James Clancy first came to our knowledge few weeks back, when a member of Visual Greatness found his Etsy store, filled with amazing photographs from his life and travels. What we loved most about him is the way that he takes views, that would normally be displayed with bright colors- and then showcases them in Black & White, going against the “norm” in photography, making these places look more mysterious and antique.
We had a little online “sit-down” with James, to ask him a few questions about his work… And this is what he had to say:
Q: What do you think are the biggest things that influence you as an artist?
A: My style is influenced by the old style of photography and classic movies.
Q: Did you study any form of art? What were you doing for a living before you opened your business?
A: Back in 1990 I moved to Cork City, where I later on started studying film (with emphasis on camera and lighting design). I was working in the film making industry, worked with music and theatre. I was producing works which were presented and screened at film festivals and on national television.
I think that it was that experience, that was “all over the map” that made me realize that my true passion was photography.
Q: So, when did you make the move to focus solely on photography?
A: I think it was around 2002 that I decided that being a photographer is simply who I am, and I love it, I love the camera, I love the scenery, the people… And I love Black & White.
Q: And do you think your love for films comes out in your photos?
A: Most certainly. I think that it’s my love for film that makes me take so many photos and place them in the same series, instead of just focusing on one good shot. It’s like whenever I find something or someone I want to photograph I create this narrative in my head, a character of some sort.
Q: What can you say was a proud moment in your career?
A: Well, since 2006 I have had exhibitions all over Europe and Asia. That was a big milestone for me. I love having people come to see my work, and have this ability to touch so many people from various cultures and countries. However, 2011 was definitely a year to remember. I published my first photobook in 2011, and called it “Border Country”. It’s a black & white photo series, through Kehrer Verlag. My proudest moment would probably be at the end on that year…
In November 2011 “Border Country” received the predicate “Selected Title” of the prestigious Deutscher Fotobuchpreis 2012, awarded by the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels. I was thrilled.
James Clancy’s Official Artist’s Statement:
Photography, like so much in life, works in mysterious ways – for me, anyway. And for me I feel the only grand plan is that there is no grand plan.
There are, of course, lots of little plans, most of which lead straight into the sand. It’s all a matter of going on, taking the best photographs I know how and waiting patiently for explanations to emerge.
Sometimes, in frustration, I impose mumbo – jumbo rationale on them, but that just makes matters worse. Allowing the photographs to assert their meaning requires a very long patience.
These series of photographs began several years ago. At the time I didn’t know I was beginning anything at all, least of all something that I’ve come to recognize will not be ‘finished’ in my lifetime.
James runs a blog on his website, a place for him to share thoughts and pictures from recent and past travels. We found it quite inspirational, especially for travelers who are looking to pick up a camera in their next journey and capture the essence of a new place.