Noise is Europe’s biggest open community for the best up and coming talent who want to break into the Creative Industries, network and self-promote with an outstanding online portfolio recognised by top professionals. The artists who submit to the online community are judged by a panel of experts. Photographer Christine Eastwood was Elaine Constantine’s Curator’s Choice. Eastwood shoots captivating images of dilapidated spaces. She speaks to Aesthetica about her unconventional photography career and her plans for the future.
A: Your photographs are hauntingly beautiful, what draws you to these type of spaces?
CE: These places draw me like a magnet. Ever since I was a child I have explored abandoned buildings. It is the history and presence of people connected to the buildings that interests me, as well as the natural beauty in decaying paint on the walls and cobwebs in windows. These forgotten spaces, have character and charm, yet some (such as the Chernobyl images) hold tragedy for so many, people are suffering to this day not only from the radiation, but emotionally.
A: You left education for 40 years, what made you want to go back?
CE: I wanted to be an artist when leaving school at 15, but I was advised this was not a fundamental career move. I worked in shops and then travelled to London and worked in hotels. Eventually, I moved back to Manchester where I met my children’s father, and we got married and had 4 daughters! My life has been spent bringing up my children and working. There was never time for me. Now my children are all grown up, so I decided to do an access course to HE in Art & Design, and loved every minute. This in turn led to me attending university and gaining a BA(Hons) photography degree.
A: Which photographers have inspired you?
CE: There are a few photographers who I admire, and I would say that Margaret Bourke -White, Dorothea Lange, Donovan Wylie, Rena Effendi, Jonathon Collingridge and Niki Feijen have inspired me the most in different ways.
A: You were selected by a curator for Noise Festival, how did that feel? What do you plan to take from this?
CE: I was selected as a curators choice. I was overwhelmed when I received an email informing me of this, I had no idea when entering the competition that I would be chosen, it was scary but exciting at the same time. I didn’t know what to expect when we went to the House of Commons for the launch of the exhibition. Having been a curators choice has made me even more determined to work harder and continue to produce great shots that will be exhibited in solo exhibitions moving forward.
A: What do you have planned for the future?
CE: I plan to take a career break from M&S where I have worked for the last 17 years and concentrate on a freelance photography career. I imagine this will include some travel, for personal projects, but I am open to offers of employment. I would love to work for National Geographic, exploring and discovering. I have some work in the pipeline. But, who knows what the future holds? I will just have to wait and see.
To find out more about Eastwood’s work, visit www.noisefestival.com/festival/2014/photography/aftermath.
1. Aftermath, courtesy of Christine Eastwood and Noise.