Inside this issue
I'm a former graphic designer enchanted with all forms of photography: analog, digital, toy camera, Polaroid, alternative process. I seek out the graphic shapes of nature in the forests and rivers near where I live in the north-eastern United States as well as through my travels. Currently exhibiting in galleries in New England.
My images combine an early love of drawing and painting with a long-standing passion for photographing the landscape. An important part of my portfolio continues to be about the interaction between water and light in, but I’m also experimenting with movement on land and even my own progress on foot through the landscape. Facebook Flickr
Every now and then social media feeds throw something a little different your way, which is how we’ve come to talk to Joan Kocak. It’s easy to think that you have to travel to make interesting images – all we learn in reality is how little we know of a place and without returning many times it’s unlikely that we will do much more than scratch at the surface. Our images are about place or subject, rather than being a reflection of us as individuals. In time some of us will come to realise that it is better to work close to home, to get under the skin of what surrounds us, and to let it get under ours.
Would you like to start by telling readers a little about yourself – where you grew up, your education and early interests, and what that led you to do?
I grew up in the days when parents let their kids out the door in the mornings and didn’t ask many questions, assuming you’d show up again when you were hungry. Gratitude for being raised in the Connecticut countryside is with me every day, and gave me a profound respect for nature, though I didn’t realize it at the time. We had heaven: ponds to skate on, forests to wander through, endless days of fields and trails.
Every problem could be solved with an escape into the woods, even during the years of teenage angst (though I may have been sneaking a cigarette out there in those woods also). I was a psychology major in college, with an art minor. It should have been in reverse order.
When did you first pick up a camera and what kind of images did you initially set out to make?