Dana Stirling – New York City

Wendy's, 2013

Wendy’s, 2013

Briefly describe the work you do.

My photographic practice chains together straight and still life photography,found footage from my family history and imagery from strangers family albums. Using photography I’ve conducted an examination of my history. Due to the migration of my family from England to Israel that history discontinued, and therefore I find it hard to consider it as mine. The images become objects that I use in order to create a new history and memory of my own; people and places as I would like to remember and understand them.

The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.” 

I actually don’t have a studio. My work revolves around straight photography and found footage.I feel as if I have no real need of an indoor space to work in. I travel as much as I can to different places in order to find my photographic subjects and look for flea markets and thrift stores. I work most of the time at home and my scanning and printing I do at school. Once I graduate I will start thinking of a studio, but I think that even then this “studio” would just be a small section at home for technical equipment. 

Float, 2013

Float, 2013

What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

I started my BA with no real understanding and ambitions about photography. I wasn’t even sure if I had a talent for photography. My BA helped shape my vision and perspective about photography, and specially helped me develop a photographic style and aesthetics. I think I am still working on getting into the role of an artist. I saw myself up to now as a photographer, but have been thinking of this notion of an artists and what it means to be one. I am currently working in feeling comfortable in that role.

When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?

I am currently a Graduate student at the School of visual Arts here in NYC. Therefor, I am dedicated to art in general and my own practice in a intense environment and situation. When you are an art student, you have deadlines and Critique classes which push you to make work (even if sometimes bad work) all the time. Each assignment, each class, makes you think about your work and the direction you are going in towered your thesis project. I guess the biggest challenge will be one I graduate. Then you have to be self motivated and productive. I hope to allow myself time to work on my art all the time. I mainly work on it during the weekends and when I go and do photography trips with my husband.

Mirror, 2012

Mirror, 2012

How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?

I think my work has evolved, not so much changed. I have been working on the notion of family albums, identity and memories through photography for a while now. I started working with only BW old images from my own family album, moved to BW and color old images from my album and combining them with my own photography, and now I am working with strangers and anonymous found footage. My subject matter hasn’t really changed, it is more the visual of these ideas that has changed.

How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?

Takashi Yasumura. A Japanese photographer with his project “Domestic Scandals” . He photographed his parent’s home, mainly still life’s. He managed to capture this silent fusion of cultures and he has an elegant way of creating a juxtaposition between American objects and the way they affected his parents traditional Japanese home.

I first came across his project while I was working on a project about my Grandparent’s home that was in the process of been emptied completely. My teacher recommended him to me, and the second I saw his work, my entire view and perspective changed 180 degrees. He became almost like a mentor to me and he heavily influences that project.

Till today, he is by far one of my favorite artists to go to when I need inspiration.

Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?

When I was younger I was into journalism and writing in general. My dream back then was to be a professional writer for a big newspaper. As time passed I realized that I wasn’t as good as I wanted to be. My aspiration was greater than my talent. I knew I wanted to do something creative, but couldn’t find my place in any of the disciplines (painting, sculpture, graphic etc.)

I did find photography eventually in my late high school years and in my Mandatory Israeli army service, and have been working with it since.


3d1cfe_a9d512b6bb1e55fe99fa438789f6b12b.jpg_srz_p_272_292_75_22_0.50_1.20_0Born 1989, Jerusalem Israel.

In 2007 served my mandatory Israeli army service at the Youth and Education corp, as a tour guide in the biblical nature park “Neot Kedumim”. In 2009, a few month after the army service, started a BA in photographic communications at Hadassah College Jerusalem, graduated in 2013. In 2013 moved to NYC interned at Hasted Kreautler Gallery, did a TA position at ICP (Black and White darkroom printing assistant) and was a studio intern at Gilles Peres Studio.

Currently an MFA student at the School of visual arts NYC (photo, video and related media department).


All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission. 


About 365Artists/365Days

The purpose of this project is to introduce its readership to a diverse collection of art that is being produced at the national and international level. Our goal is to engage the public with information regarding a wide array of creative processes, and present the successes and failures that artists face from day to day. The collaborators hope that this project will become a source for exploring and experiencing contemporary art in all its forms.
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