Laura Pannack London, UK
Laura Pannack is a London based Photographer.
Her work has been extensively exhibited and published both in the UK and internationally, including at The National Portrait Gallery, The Houses of Parliament, Somerset House, and the Royal Festival Hall in London.
She has won and been shortlisted for several awards including The Sony World Photography Awards, The Magenta foundation and Lucies IPA and the Taylor Wessing Prize. In 2013 she was awarded the Vic Odden by The Royal Photographic Society award for a notable achievement in the art of photography by a British photographer aged 35 or under.
Laura Pannack was chosen by photogrpaher Mustafah Abdulaziz
Laatikkomo’s interview with Laura Pannack January 10th, 2015
L: Where are you from? Or what cities, and/or countries have you lived in – what places have influenced you?
LP: I was born and bred in London and Surrey and I now live in North East London. I love to travel and explore and my ambition is definitely to explore the world further
L: What is your first memory of photography?
LP: Tipping trays in the darkroom with my father in his old house. I watched Tom &Jerry on the Tv (It had a red filter on it) whilst we waited for the film to develop
L: Your images appear very still. It is hard to imagine the moment before or after, but at the same time these frozen moments could easily have been over looked. It is almost as if the context has been removed in that moment. Can you describe what kind of moment you are looking for?
LP: Im looking for silence I guess, a moment of emotional connection and mystery, one where time ceases to exist
L: On your website, your bio texts states that you are “driven by research led self-initiated projects”. Research can be many things, academic or practical and can be conducted in many ways. What kind of research is involved in the preparation for and creation of your projects?
LP: It greatly depends on the project. A lot of my work is about gaining access and a greater understanding of those I am photographing. However some of my imagery is also pre planned, staged and created so I may be looking for inspiration from drawings, paintings, poetry…looks of different mediums. I try to focus on what I am interested in and research can also be about meeting and talking with people
L: The importance of the relationship you form with your subjects is said to be an important element in the creation of your images (quote from Terry O’ Neill). And in an interview you made for your first prize in the Portrait Singles category of the World Press Photo awards, you talk about listening and empathizing with your subjects. I suspect that this intimacy would make the work of taking photographs a very heavy experience, how do you balance this emotional strain with your own personal life?
LP: I think its all dependent on the boundaries and circumstances of the images.I often don’t have the freedom to spend ample time with those I shoot. However if I do I try to use this. My friends and family are important to me and one of the things I am still learning to master is to balance my social life with my work life as being freelance it is often difficult to remain disciplined on how many hours youre putting in. I constantly feel like Im not working enough.
L: Many of your projects both personal and commissioned, seem to focus on people through an array of situations, lifestyles and in extremely different contexts. What interests you most about humanity?
LP: Humans are fascinating. I am drawn to the unpredictable nature of us all. There is no one thing that interests me it is more about my curiosity with behaviour and relationships
L: Do you consider your work as in someway involved in the politics of current society?
LP: I don’t intentionally try and make a statement on society or encourage a political agenda with my subject matter. My work is about people and I focus on subjects that are unifying, that we all experience in different ways . There are often layered meanings in what I am presenting regarding some sterotypes and perceptions of others we often have. I like to start conversations .
L: Could you list 5 (or more) words that you were thinking about when you made this work (shown in Laatikkomo)?
Thank you so much Laura!!