Erin Mulvehill is a young and talented artist currently living in new york city, and holds a BS degree in Photography from Syracuse University.
Empty Kingdom completed an interview with her before the Christmas break, but alas, all our difficulties switching hosts (Still haven’t gotten our old posts up yet) caused a delay. Well no more. Here it is.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am twenty-one years old, nomadic but currently settled in brooklyn new york, buddhist, happy, six feet tall, a libra, i don’t use capital letters, i talk about aliens a lot, i am very into science and physics, i love to read, i write poetry and i believe that beauty will save the world.
How did you get into your art, and why?
From a young age i have been interested in art because i feel it carries a sort of transcendental expressive quality that is really important to our nature as human beings. of course, as a child i didn’t have those words to express that idea, but art has always been an area of life i have been especially attracted towards. growing up i was real big on drawing. i feel like my passion for drawing really created a solid foundation for me to leap from into photography. i adapted to the medium of photography the summer after my freshman year of college. that summer, at seventeen years old, i moved to london on my own to do an internship. i ended up really dreading the internship so i quit and wandered around the city for two months with a dslr camera i had purchased before leaving america. it was during this time that i really fell in love with photography and realized how versatile and beautiful it was as a medium for expression.
How did you learn/where did you study?
I think we learn the most from simply observing our surroundings and being awake and aware of what is taking place around us. formally, i studied photography at syracuse university. i received my bachelors degree in may 2009.
How would you describe your style?
Name 5 influences of any kind.
Time, Buddhism, Light, Perception, Minimalism
What do you shoot with?
An analog 35mm film camera
What software do you like to finish with?
I scan my negatives to make them digital and then clean off dust and things with photoshop
Regarding the web -where do you go for your dope?
I rss to a lot of technology and science sites. i really love physics and cognitive science. i also enjoy researching the lives of artists (both living and deceased) online. as a photographer and artist i feel it is important to be aware of how other artists and writers lived and engaged in the world both when they were making art and when they were not.
How often do you shoot?
How often i shoot really varies from day to day. there are days when i don’t stop shooting and there are spans of time when i feel i really need to step back and take a break from the medium altogether in order to clear my mind before reapproaching a subject or a concept. i used to get anxious when i didn’t have a camera with me at all times, just in case something came up that i needed to document. i don’t really feel that anxiety anymore, i now rely almost exclusively on fate and intuition. if i have my camera with me when i see something beautiful, i will take a photograph of it in attempts to preserve the beauty and pass it along like a chain letter or a paper airplane. if i don’t have my camera and i come across the same beautiful moment i will reflect on the moment and try to observe it carefully so that i can experience it, live it, remember it. sometimes not having the ability to preserve something makes our lives more rich, more full. the transcience we live in is breathtaking.
What are some challenges in your art you wish to overcome?
I deal with challenges as i come to them, it is hard to predict what’s going to be needed to be worked out until i come upon a specific problem.
(Regarding your stunning Underwater/Rebirth series)
What does the series mean to you?
The creative process linked to my work is naturally nonlinear. i feel i am largely a vessel for my work, meaning i will suddenly be overtaken by an idea or concept and feel an intense necessity to create this idea. over time, usually well after the work is actually created, the meaning of the work unveils itself. this is something i find especially beautiful about art and the process of bringing something full circle.
Where did you get the idea?
For those curious, talk us through the process of how you achieved your look.
I don’t really like to talk a whole lot about my process because i don’t think it’s too relevant to understanding the works. i will say that i in fact did not shoot this series underwater, but rather in a photography studio. the rest is mystic-inspired magic.
Where do you see your art moving, what boundaries would you like to push?
My art is moving more and more into conceptual based works. i have been doing extensive research over the past few weeks and months about science, technology, art, and spirituality and am beginning to feel a new series of images coming to light out of this pool of information. i have also been collaborating extensively with artist zebadiah keneally. our work together is very much based in our collective interpretation of concepts and norms. this work is going to vary in medium – encompassing everything from video to drawing, and installation to photography. we are currently putting together a website of our collaborative work, i will be sure to pass along the link once it is live!
The Beatles or Elvis Presley?
Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan?
Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson?
Muhammad Ali all the way!
A Rock or a Hard Place?