Interview with Sarolta Bán, part of New Wave Photography, London

For the second time, New Wave Photography returns to The Crypt Gallery, London, 19 – 27 April. Organised by United Creativity, a company representing emerging contemporary photographers from Central and Eastern Europe, the event recognises the evolving talent of new artists from the CEE region. The exhibition will host 12 artists, showcasing fine art photography from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The works on display cover a variety of themes including, Surrealism, minimalist landscape, classical nude photography, gum print, lomography and digital montage. One of the individuals involved will be Sarolta Bán, she speaks to Aesthetica about her manipulation of digital photography and her development from jewelry production.

A: What was it that made you move from jewelry making to digital photography?
SB: It was actually a coincidence. Six years ago, I had a small digital camera and tried to take photos, but I was never satisfied with them. Once I had an idea to replace the sky in one of my photographs. By digitally altering it I was able to change it quite quickly. I really liked it, it was fun and opened a lot of possibilities. It’s funny, because in Hungarian the word “jeweler” means you compound materials to create things, and that’s exactly what I do with my pictures. Otherwise they don’t have much in common, although both disciplines require a lot of attention to detail.

I was a creator from childhood, ever since I can remember, I was doing something, I was plasticizing or I was building sand castles. I have been drawing all of my life. I learnt to draw before I could walk or speak.

A: On average, how long does it take to make one piece?
SB: I work on a picture for a few hours to a couple of days, and most of the time I use up to 100 different layers for one picture.

A: Do you find yourself drawn back to similar themes?
SB: Yes, this happens a lot. I like using old, ordinary elements and by combining them, I can tell a variety of stories. Objects and little things are important for me. I think that they have their own stories. This is the reason why I love what I do.

A: How does your process work? Do you take photos yourself and then manipulate them or do you use existing photographs?
SB: Usually I begin with a picture I want to make something out of. I randomly start trying things with it and if the elements start working together then it’s good. In other cases, the idea comes first and then I begin to implement things.

A: What do you want audiences to take from your work?
SB: I hope that the meanings of my pictures are never too limited and are open in some way so that each viewer can transform them into their own personal perspective.

A: What have you got planned for the future?
SB: My biggest dream is to own a horse! But, in the upcoming month, I have exhibitions in London, Amsterdam and Krakow and I will also travel to Ireland for the first time, where I will take a lot of photos.

Sarolta Bán’s work can be seen at United Creativity’s online gallery

New Wave Photography, 19 – 27 April, The Crypt Gallery, St Pancras Church, Euston Road, London, NW1 2BA.

All images courtesy of Sarolta Bán and United Creativity.