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28TH August 2019

Q & A ISABELLA & REECE

Whenever we have a day off together, it usually begins with an early wakeup call from our cat Anchovy, who likes his breakfast at 5am.

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Tell us a bit about yourselves…

I: Isabella Kerstens, I'm a photographer and visual artist based in Sydney. I take photos of people and places that I love, and I paint a lot of the photos. I'm working on film making at the moment as well.

R: Reece Beuzeville. 26 years. Sydney based. Come from the coast, now live in the inner west. Started out in photography but like doing all arts. Anything that lets me create vague, textural things is a big plus. Studied audio production but only have a couple small projects to show for it.

What you’re currently up to, what’s coming up or whatever you’d like! Include any links to upcoming shows, website, etc.

I: Finishing up cutting my first films I've made on super 8, a very new medium for me, and am lucky enough to be working on multimedia projects with some of my favourite musicians. Also shooting for a series I'm hoping to show later this year, and working on some new larger format paintings. Almost taking on too much and just balancing it all, as usual.

R: Currently finishing up work on an album that will be coming out on a new Sydney label. Also, towards a photography exhibition in November. They've been complimentary to each other in the process.

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Freedom to us is…

Having time to travel, having time to work on projects.

I feel most free to create because I am…

Surrounded by a network of people and places that give us the opportunity to witness new things.

Describe your life in 5 words…

I: Always searching for perfect light

R: Always remain focus...what's that?

Tell us about a day in the life of Isabella and Reece.

I: Whenever we have a day off together, it usually begins with an early wakeup call from our cat Anchovy, who likes his breakfast at 5am. Pot of coffee on, make some breakfast/lunch, and work in the studio and garden. Beer and pool at the local pub. Then dinner either at home or out.

How did you guys meet?

R: It was a relationship founded on friendship. Isabella and her band were playing at a festival that I was at. I knew of the lead singer and was going to check it out. We started chatting afterwards and overtime, became acquainted. It was only until about a year later that we started dating.

I: He came to see my band play at a festival, we were introduced afterwards by a mutual friend. We ended up meeting at a lot of subsequent gigs and became close friends over time, and eventually started dating much later.

What do you love most about living in Petersham?

I: It's the perfect blend of the peace and space of the suburbs, with a lovely local community, and plenty of fantastic restaurants, venues and art spaces within easy bike riding distance.

R: We live in an old Portuguese family home (and suburb) with a fruiting grapevine and an abundance of curious things, so the combination of that and having the surrounding suburbs that we do, is very inspiring. Nice local pub.

What is/where is something/somewhere new that you’ve discovered recently?

I: I've gotten seriously into old Jacques Cousteau films, absolutely pioneering film makers. They were creating images in a way that was so new, people hadn't been invited to see the underwater world in this way before. There’s something really magic about it. The 'Flora & Fauna' category on NTS Radio. An amazing collection of shows from different artists. A lot of Jean C. Roché.

You guys love going on road trips.. tell us your favourite weekend destination?

I: Somewhere we can swim or somewhere we can go bushwalking, Seal Rocks or Wollemi National Park

And your favourite place abroad?

I: Probably Berlin

R: Seyðisfjörður, Iceland

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What parts of all your travels do you enjoy the most?

I: Stopping at every rural pub that looks even slightly like it might have a pool table.

You guys are both artists – what is your preferred medium and why?

I: I'm really loving working in video again, I haven't touched it since I was in high school and jumping back into film making has felt like a really natural progression from still photography.

R: Depends on the day. Currently, field recording garners most of my interest.

Is there a level of competition between you guys?

I: I think there is, in a really healthy way. We both push each other to make our best work and at the same time can work collaboratively and support each other’s projects. There's enough overlap in what we do to keep things interesting.

R: For creative purposes, it's all very supportive. But working side by side for this long with someone with similar interests, it sparks a personal ambition to keep moving forward. I always want to bring home something to show her. For anything else outside of creativity, highly competitive, there are definite winners and losers.

What are some sources of inspiration for you both?

I: The natural world is where I find most of my creative energy, being in the sun in the bush or the ocean really recharges me.

I also am endlessly inspired by my incredible friends that are all pushing themselves creatively, we're really lucky to have a fantastic community of support and sharing of skills.

R: I find a lot of inspiration from how other people push their creativity in to their own little personal reflections of themselves and their surroundings, regardless of the medium. Artists like Knud Viktor, A Savage, Ryley Edwards, Eno, Cate le Bon, Jana Winderen, RAMZi, Alice Quaresma. The natural world and the organised chaos that it supports will also forever spark something.

How did you get into photography?

I: My first memory with a camera was photographing my brothers and pets as a child on my parents old Polaroid. I got my first DSLR of my own a year or so out of high school, and cut my teeth photographing all my friends’ bands at shows. A few years later I went overseas and took a 35mm camera I picked up from an op shop. The first roll of film I got back was a real shift in focus for me, I never looked back.

R: My mum won a Nikon SLR in a competition at the mall when I was about 14. I'd just seen a series of slow shutter images and became fascinated that this was something I could do on my own. This was then paired with taking cameras to gigs all the time.

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What do you/you guys love most about shooting on film?

R: It's unpredictable.

I: The way light translates is just different from digital, it's a sharp learning curve and pretty unforgiving, but it’s also a slower more intuitive process. People act totally differently in front of a film camera; when there’s no digital screen for them to see previews on, they're less self-conscious.

What are some of the challenges?

R: It's unpredictable.

I: You're often working with old gear that though well maintained, can malfunction and ruin a roll or even an entire job, and you only find out when you get your scans back. It can also be really unnerving for clients that aren't used to shooting film to be working blind so to speak, not being able to see the images as they are being shot and having to put a lot of trust in you to realise their vision.

How did you get into commercial work?

I: My first commercial job was with Camp Cove Swim. I don't remember exactly how we made the connection, but I do remember the shoot really clearly, we shot in a beautiful house on the bay, on 35mm film with one of my best friends as the model and the photos we took are still some of my favourites. Something just clicked that day, and the brands director Katherine and I have stayed close friends.

Do you have any advice for budding photographers?

I: It doesn't matter what you shoot on, just shoot as much as you possibly can. The more photos you take the more familiar you become with your gear, and the more you work out what you do and don't like shooting.

R: If you have the means to afford it, film photography is a great way to find what you're looking for. Read lots of photography books.

And finally, what’s on the playlist for a day at the studio?

I: We had a lot of back and forth and the only artist we could agree on wholeheartedly is Terry. Excellent, high energy studio tunes.

 

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