interview: Callum Ross

There is an interesting tension in the photography of Callum Ross. At first glance, the scenes of nature in his images appear to be calm. But between the quietness, there is a sense of anticipation, waiting.

Ross left his homeland Australia to study photography in the UK in 2010. During that time, he produced the series West. Here, I speak with Ross about his imagery, inspiration for West, and the themes within it.

How did you get into photography?
Callum Ross: I’ve always been very involved in photography. My first infatuation with taking pictures began when I was a child with a Kodak disposable, trying to capture whales from the headland.

Could you describe a bit of your photographic journey over the past year, being enrolled in a dedicated study and also undertaking this in another culture?
Callum Ross: I spent the better part of 2010 furthering my photographic studies in Plymouth, UK. Moving to Plymouth was the most challenging and rewarding experience. My influences and inspirations broadened dramatically, and I really defined my photographic approach. I studied with the most beautiful people, who’s photographic work I really admired and drew from. Pursuing what you love in another culture opens your mind to a whole new realm of ideas and possibilities.

What is the idea behind the series West? How is it related to your earlier series La nature d’√™tre?
Callum Ross: I’m interested in that initial moment of desire to search beyond the floor of consciousness for a broader awareness of being. ‘West’, I think subconsciously further refines these ideas. Being foreign to my surroundings, ‘West’ allowed for a deeper connection with the natural world, and portrayed a sense of journey within the landscape.

From what I have seen, your photography often captures scenes in nature. Why are you drawn to this? What themes are you exploring?
Callum Ross: From a very young age I’ve spent a lot of time in nature, so I guess I’ve always been drawn to places where nobody else goes. Its almost like a longing for freedom, my own little escape. Different themes are always evolving and operating within the work. I definitely aim to explore transfiguration, and the way the human mind struggles to break from the external world into a sort of internal one.

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