Inside this issue
Franka M Gabler
Franka Gabler is a photographer based in California. For many years Franka has drawn her inspiration from subtle, moody, often intimate landscapes – compositions somewhere between detail/abstract and the wider view. Franka’s photographs are published in several books and publications. Currently her work is represented in several galleries and has been featured in numerous exhibits.
In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.
From the waters off Croatia to the mountains of California, Yosemite has found a special place in Franka’s heart. It’s easy to be a little dismissive of ‘honey pot’ locations and photographic icons, but the sheer scale of America’s National Parks mean that, for the regular returnee, there are plenty of quiet places and more intimate views to be found and enjoyed. John Muir wrote in his 1912 book ‘The Yosemite’ that “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.” Franka has found both beauty to feed her soul, and a way of photographing that she is happy with, which she describes as being somewhere between the detailed and the abstract, and the wider view.
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 Split – the largest coastal city in Croatia. My family always put great emphasis on education. My grandparents were teachers, my dad was an orthopaedic surgeon, and my mom was an accountant. My sisters and I knew from an early age that we would go to college. Our family was artistic too. My grandfather was a painter and a writer of children’s poetry, while my father played the guitar and drew sketches. My father also collected art. In his younger days he developed his own film and made prints. My parents valued the importance of creativity and the arts. They encouraged their children to be creative. They always made sure that we didn’t neglect the “important” subjects such as math, science, grammar, literature, history, etc. Art, as they saw it, was something to pursue in one’s free time, after homework and extra-curricular activities. They didn’t want to take the chance of us becoming “starving artists".” My sisters and I did what our parents expected us to do. We focused on school. We all earned advanced degrees.
My father owned a 33-foot sailing boat, and we spent our summer vacations cruising the waters around the countless islands off the coast. He transferred his love of nature to me. I developed a deep connection with nature. My life was all about the sea, swimming for hours in the pristine waters of Croatia, exploring the hidden corners of the coastal landscape, sailing and conquering the wind.