© Clare Strand, Signs of Struggle, 2003

© Clare Strand, Signs of Struggle, 2003

AFH: Is photography primarily an expressive tool for you?

CS: Photography clearly has an important role in my work but its application is determined by my subject matter. If you look back on my work, I have no one photographic style. I tend to manipulate the process to directly respond to the subject. Throughout my work I have appropriated existing photographic conventions to suit and embellish the subject. The majority of the conventions that I ‘borrow’ are sourced from the utilitarian applications of photography.

AFH: Do you start with a specific narrative or are you drawn to atmosphere and then later construct possible stories to explain or contextualise your images?

CS: When I start to make work it is totally subject driven and then I look around to see what business photography has with it – it never happens the other way round. Narratives sometimes emerge as part of this process, but they are always a bi-product, never a starting concern. My passion for photography is driven by utilitarian photography, which, in my opinion, is the source of some of the most visually rich photographic imagery – at its best offering baffling yet compelling visual-narrative possibilities. The appropriation of the utilitarian is evident through out my photography – in the conventions of 19th-century street/city portraiture shown in ‘Gone Astray’, and in the forensic applications in ‘Signs of a Struggle’; from the constructs of industrial Time and Motion photography in ‘The Betterment Room’ – Devices For Measuring Achievement’ to, most recently, the Aura photograph of the paranormal/spiritualist. This template of subject matter dictating photographic application continues throughout my work.

excerpt from Clare Strand’s interview with Ana Finel Honigman

Clare’s work here and much more information on her projects can easily be found online.

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