Small Scale Stories – Part 2, Interview with Maria Flourou
Mobile photographer Maria Flourou kindly agreed to chat to Engage Arts for our Small Scale blog post Part 2. Maria shares her thoughts on Instagram and reveals some of the techniques she uses to create her layered photographic works.
Kerry: What inspires your photography?
Maria: Life, dreams and escapism.
Kerry: Instagram has become a great place to discover artists and their work, what made you join Instagram and why do you like it as a platform?
Maria: I had been introduced to it by a friend and was only using it to post odd pics from around home. I then stumbled across other functions and kept noticing how good some of the other art works were. There are some inspirational artists out there! That said, I wondered how such great things were achieved. I remember reading comments and slowly I picked up the name of various apps, downloaded them and taught myself how to use them. It’s such an amazing app (Instagram), I’ve met some fantastic people through it. This is how the Mnemonics began.
Kerry: Many of your works have a dream-like quality and are visually layered, can you describe a little of your process in constructing an image?
Maria: You’ve described it well! Ideas do come to me like a dream, fleeting thoughts and escapism, especially when things are consuming my thoughts and I need a release. Once the photos are taken, it is then put through various apps. Firstly, I usually clean up the native image taken by my iPhone with Snapseed, then I may blur parts or delete areas of the image with either Blurfx, Art Rage or Repix. I use Blender to combine another part of an image to it and then usually like to finish with varying the tone and adding texture with either Mextures, Picture Show or Scratch Cam.
Kerry: You also belong to an online ensemble of artists the mnemonics, what is the idea behind this group?
Maria: We all came across each other’s work on Instagram, shared a lot in common and genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. We share a love for photo taking, story-telling and art. Though all our own personal styles are unique, we combine all of these elements when we work. We are all based around Australia so we have all been able to meet and stay in touch. We had our first group exhibition last year as featured artists at the Head On festival in Sydney. ‘Memoria’ was a hit and lots of prints were sold. We are talking at the moment about what our next venture will be and where? Stay tuned!
Kerry: Your work, Dreams of a Boy was recently entered into the Lethbridge Gallery’s small scale art award and you have exhibited at the Head On Photo Festival in Sydney. What are some of the challenges of preparing a mobile work for an analog exhibition?
Maria: The only challenge when I need to change my digital works into analog, is sizing. When you are only shooting with an iPhone/mobile device you are restricted by how far you can enlarge an image. There are also great apps for that to like Squaready. Finding a great and affordable processing lab is also important. They can also increase the dpi before printing and are very experienced with recommending the right paper for your desired look. I use Allchrome in Wilston, Brisbane.
Thank you so much for chatting to us Maria! You can follow Maria Flourou’s work on her Instagram feed @muzbanger and also @calipso. Check out the photography collective the Mnemonics. All images courtesy of the artist.