An interview with Justin Ridler

I’m a Photographer and Image Director. I regularly create photographs, films, animations and installations in both my contemporary art practice and my commercial practice that spans dance, fashion and portraiture. At the moment I’m interested in time, connection, cosmology and consciousness. These are astonishingly rich themes to explore through photographs.

I believe for me at least, black and white photography always presents a clear entry point into an abstracted reality, and, through that abstraction the conveyance of a deeper meaning. I feel that this is the strength of working in black and white and I often use it as a texture within my practice mainly when I want to punctuate an image’s detachment from reality.

My personal work now explores human movement at its core – it examines the idea that we are, quite beautifully, confined in our lived experience by our biology and that we are also, because of this, intrinsically destined to experience an abstracted perception of reality. It’s within these abstractions that I believe the most incredible moments of my life have occurred and that is what I hope my work reflects. In my work, I have discovered that through combining choreographic and photographic practices I can articulate these ideas more clearly and over the last ten years I’ve been working with members of The Australian Ballet and The Sydney Dance Company to bring them to life.

In terms of where the ideas come from, I feel like it has been a case of particular accumulation of memories and influence over many years. To give you an example, when I was younger Bernini’s The Ecstasy Of Saint Therese was critical to my practice and is still indeed in there. There are echos of gesture within that sculpture that exist in my work almost always. Later on, I read books about cosmology by Theoretical Physicists such as Richard Feynman and Sean Carroll, and while I don’t directly translate their theories into visuals, they influence some of the work I create. Recently I have become fascinated with the way that technology shapes our ideas and at the moment I’m interested in video game engines and their relevance to the future of photography.

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