Words and Interview by Eva Davidová
Creativity is fluid, it grasps hold of what it needs to when we give it space to breathe, and when we force, it feels suffocated.
In this interview, Klagenfurt based Amanda deeply reminds us that in a world full of convenience, it is immensely important that we find our way back into connection with nature and the cycles around us. In being connected to her, the more we can hold ourselves in a natural fluid state, which has a pretty big payoff: contentment and creativity.
Amanda describes a subtle visualization of melancholy that runs through her pictures. Her work is intriguing and captivatingly moody. We asked her a couple questions about nature, her photography, what inspires her and got a glimpse into her creative life.
What aesthetic currently inspires you the most?
My understanding of aesthetics is very fluid. Sometimes I am inspired by the raw, dark, urban and minimalistic, in which I see life. However, I am also often drawn to the wide, colorful, exciting and vibrant environment. I have always photographed a lot in nature, as that is the purest environment and it is the most appropriate of all settings for me personally. Nature reflects the human condition best, because we are nothing but nature. What often runs through my pictures is the subtle visualization of melancholy. I love to express feelings and emotions through the pictures and portray people in their vulnerability, in their physical attraction but also their mental strength.
You are traveling through Morocco right now, what inspires you in this beautiful country?
Traveling to Morocco has always been a big dream of mine and definitely a goal on my bucket list. My expectations were exceeded by miles. It is an incredibly diverse country, full of beauty, with a breathtaking wild and untouched nature, incredible distances, millions of wonderful colors, patterns, handcrafts, with mystical and magical places and a lot of mint tea. It is a kingdom of light and sun. I have been inspired by so much, but most of all by the rush of the small streets of the medinas, the talent of the people to create works of art and their relaxed way to meet the flow of life.
“Nature reflects the human condition best, because we are nothing but nature.”
What role does Nature play in your life?
When I have periods in which I don’t feel very well, I walk a lot through the forest. I would say nature is my response to many of my existential issues and teaches me to cope with my fears, because it reflects the cycle of life. My big topic is the fear of transience, but nature with all her facets shows that there is nothing more self-evident than transience and that we humans shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. And of course, nature just makes me happy, and brings me regularly to my limits of positive high feelings. In summary, nature gives me safety and awareness.
When did you start with photography?
I’ve always enjoyed taking photos of all sorts of things with my mobile phone. But I got a camera in August 2020, so I’m still very new in this métier.
What is your favorite song at the moment?
Music is like food for me and I love food, so I eat a lot and I listen to a lot of different music. I grew up with hip hop and that’s been with me all my life. One of my evergreens is Esperanto by Freundeskreis. But my heart also beats for world music. When I get up in the morning, I often listen to something like Orchestra Baobab. However, according to the Spotify evaluation of my top songs in 2022, it’s Feral by Elder Island (letherette Remix).
“My big topic is the fear of transience, but nature with all her facets shows that there is nothing more self-evident than transience and that we humans shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.”
What do you carry with you at all times?
I always, really always have a water bottle, tissues and headache medicine with me for emergencies. That’s what my mom taught me.
What camera/s do you use?
A second-hand Sony Alpha 6000 with kit lens. I guess it’s time for one or the other investments.
What season is your favorite and why?
Each season has its own special charm and I appreciate each of its circumstances. But I definitely love summer the most, the long warm days, light and fluffy clothes, watermelons, the lakes (especially here in Carinthia a dream) and the sea. Not to forget the warm summer nights and that rich scent of flowers and trees in the air. It seems as if the hard parts of life are easier to cope with. Nature has reached its peak in summer and lives in its full power.
What project are you working on right now?
I am currently working mostly on artist portfolios, in which the line between the act of photography, my art, and the concrete representation of a personality becomes blurred.
If you could choose what era to be born into, what era would it be?
That’s a very good question. I’ve often imagined what it would be like to be born in another era, and when I think of other eras, I tend to associate them only with the positive aspects. But there are also the negative ones. For example the short life expectancy, the many cruel wars or the suppressed role of women. I think with today’s time and the place where I live I didn’t hit it so bad. I owe incredible freedoms to this coincidence. If there would exist a time machine though, I would definitely use it to the fullest. The world is vast, by places and times.
What’s a movie that inspires you?
Among all the countless films I like and consider extremely inspiring, movies like “Great Expectations” by Alfonso Cuaron, “City of God” by Fernando Meirelles and “Babel” by Alejandro González Iñárritu pop into my head.
A quote that you love:
„A darkness carried in the heart cannot be cured by moving the body from one place to another“. Lennier, Babylon 5, S03E06