María Hernández – Tudela, Navarra, Spain

Cuentos Modernos (04), Collage analógico+spray, 25x25 cm, 2015

Cuentos Modernos (04), Collage analógico+spray, 25×25 cm, 2015

Briefly describe the work you do. 

I use photography as a form of personal expression and communication, as well as my own relationship with the environment and way of self-knowledge. I am introvert and the camera destroyed those walls, helping to pass to other people what I think, I feel and I see around me.

The topics treated in my work are the time (past, present and future), memory, forgetfulness, nature and the time that I happen to live. I document this from a personal perspective, reflecting as it makes me feel and how I see the circumstances that happen to me as an individual. I also work with my feelings referring to different situations, using the photography to know them and interpret them. 

I try to find beauty, both in the good and in the bad, because any situation, no matter how bad that makes us feel, has a beautiful part; on the difficulties is the change and personal evolution. 

As for the technique I use, I always used digital cameras until this year 2015, because I’m making a first contact with analogue photography. 

I also work with archival photographs, especially my family album for the contrast between past and present and how we can imagine the future after examining this evolution. I also experiment with image transfer, intervention and collage. 

Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.

I always took pictures in order to keep some moments (school excursions, parties, outings with friends …). Eventually I realized that memory is something very important to me; the fear of forget a moment drives me to save them. This fear combined with my passion for the collecting have greatly influenced my work, since my works are just that, ordered moments, objects / places collected with one intention: to tell something about me or my world view.

173-365, Fotografía digital intervendia con hilos, 20x30 cm, 2014

173-365, Fotografía digital intervendia con hilos, 20×30 cm, 2014

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.”

It depends on the project that i’m working. If the work is something manual, like collage or photographic intervention, my house could be the studio where I work, particularly my bedroom. Although I work elsewhere / houses depending on whether I’m traveling or working jointly with another person. 

If the work is photography, I do not have a studio, the reality would be my studio. Everywhere, city, building, transport … The world would be my studio here.

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

I never imagined that would be the way I want to earn my life, my perfect job, although this has still not been accomplished. 

When I started to create I never imagined the depth that I ended up reaching. I took photos for fun, going to nice things or moments that I wanted to remember, but I never imagined it would end up working on serious projects, creating works trying to convey an idea, a concept; I did not thought that photography (and the act of creation in general) would end up being a major and indispensable part of my life.

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 think it’s something that can not be calculated. There are many factors influencing the creation: inspiration, the mood, have time, space and material available to work. 

In 2014 I did a 365 project and I realized that (to some extent), you can not force yourself to create, if your mood or your condition does not allow it, because the result ends up being a complete disaster … I am not saying that you have to leave it for weeks because you feel depressed. You do not have to leave it, but you do not have to press it too.

Esencia (08), Fotografía analógica, 20x30 cm, 2014How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?

5 years ago my photographs were just that, pictures. I worried that the final result were beautiful, with the technique used correctly. At that time I began to realize that images not only reflect the beauty, they told stories, so I started to take photos with some intention behind the images. Today my understanding of photography has changed. Now I work with projects or series whose mission is to tell a story, convey a message.

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

I spend a lot of time each day to see the work of other contemporary artists on Internet, so i could say that in my work there are influences of mainly young artists. Another factor that also influences much my work is my circle of friends, with whom I exchange points of views about all sorts of topics. From this kind of conversations emerge ideas for future projects. Also, I like to take photos of them, they are often protagonists of what I do. 

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

Spain is a difficult place to be an artist, if you also add the number of rejections and frustrations that an artist must endure throughout his career, I believe that everyone that is dedicated to the arts, they have thought more than one occasion if we are losing the time. 

As a parallel activity, I have been studying cultural management issues because in addition of creation i would like to show the work of other people. I would like to have in the future an art gallery where i could help others artists with their careers. Also, I currently work as a collaborator (for art’s sake) in a Mexican online magazine about art, making articles, interviews and reports.

About

María Hernández1990. Tudela (Navarre) Spain. Self-taught , I am dedicated to photography in a conscious way from 18 years ago, but I’ve had a camera in my hands since I was a child. I studied graphic design but I realized that I really did not appeal to me, but rather just the opposite, I’m not in favor of consumerism and much less I like to be part of that world. Since this time I have devoted to photography of author working with personal projects. Some of my works have been exhibited / published in Spain and other places as the United Kingdom, Mexico, Argentina and Portugal, among others.

cargocollective.com/mariahernandez

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

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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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