Hi Lulu, it's so lovely talking to you! First of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself? Who are you, where do you come from, where do you live now? Tell us a little bit about your personal background!
I am Lulu Pinkus and I live in Sydney, Australia. I went to the National Institute of Dramatic Art and started my career as an Actress. This evolved into a broader creative sphere of interests, working behind the scenes in Theatre and Film. The work has taken me to Europe and U.S.A. Then I Co-Produced a few feature Films. …. but all the while I was making paintings
What exactly do you do for a living? When did you start with photography?
I have been a full time Painter for some years with Exhibitions at actual Art Galleries. I make small scale narrative surrealist works with acrylic paints on linen and now working towards my next Exhibition. I am also involved in a Community Arts council body where we provide various opportunities for local artists and young people.
I work from my home studio. It is a solitary endeavor. I use very fine brushes, and many layers of paint, so the gestation period to complete a painting is a long process! In 2013, I started taking photos when I joined Instagram. It felt very refreshing to make a picture in an instant! This conversation between my photos and my paintings continues to expand my creative process.
Your pictures are very smooth and calm and remind us of good holiday memories! How did you develop your style? What do you look for when taking pictures?
For me, taking pictures is an extension of mindfulness practice.I often look for an expansive clear horizon as a starting point. The spaces and air around, and groupings within the composition are also considerations. But no matter what elements I see before me I will try to reduce the visual “noise” and to amplify a sense of serenity (as I do with my paintings).
People sometimes comment that my photos are painterly, which is pleasing. I like that there is this ongoing intersection between both mediums.
I found my “voice” in photography by a process of discovery, which is to say by practicing. Trial and error. It has evolved organically, and simply, as a companion to my painting routine. Art is all about cross-pollination.
What inspires you and why?
Painters: such as Frida Kahlo, Magritte, El Greco, Dorothea Tanning and Remedios Varo.
The bookends of the day: sunrise and sunset …when the light, the air, and the colours of the natural world are often revealed in a kind of ethereal harmony.
A horizon, or the ocean: they are both mesmerizing. They both are places conducive to slow breathing into, like into the idea of infinite emptiness. Then I feel centered, recalibrated and ready to work.
Music: I always listen to it in my studio. I have a dedicated playlist in which the beat of every track is not faster than the human heartbeat, this gets me into the right state of flow.
You seem to like being outside and capturing small moments of life – do you always try to carry your camera with you and look out for the perfect shot or are these more spontaneous takes?
I usually take photos on my iPhone, so I travel light! don’t need to plan a shoot or carry around any specific equipment, except my phone and some noise cancelling earplugs to play music. I still enjoy working with the limitations and the spontaneity of mobile phone photography.
I often seek out an expansive field of vision/horizon while focusing on some tiny things right in front of me because I believe that the tiny things in nature can reveal an intimate lifeforce which is as profound and meaningful as the grander scale things are (but without overwhelming the viewer).
Could you tell us a bit about your creation process? How do you get your ideas and how do you edit your pictures?
Taking pictures is more of a spontaneous act that presents itself in the rhythm of what is in front of me, wherever that may be.
Usually, all the elements in my finished images are captured within the initial frame. I like the organic feel of these pictures. I may clean the elements up a bit. The thing I spend a lot of time on …is the palette (One of the jobs I did when I worked on Feature Films was colour grading). The language of colour fascinates me. I prefer nuanced tertiary tones to the saturated ones. I also gravitate to the light because of its inherent healing power. So, I work on the light too, to reveal it. I rarely take a picture in the dark or the shadows (even though some of my favourite Photographers do).
How and why did you start using Instagram as a platform to share your photography?
Instagram provided me with a global community where visuals could be shared with curious like-minded souls and discussed in real time. Suddenly the world got more accessible…it was like a mini epiphany!
You also like to use flowers in your pictures! What do you like most about them as a motif?
Ever since childhood days, I have loved the book The Little Prince by A. Saint-Exupéry. He had a most particular relationship with the Rose. She is a beautiful but complicated character. Whenever I see Roses, I think of her.
Flowers are fragile but resilient and adaptive. I learn from their example. I see flora almost as sentient beings through the expressions of their body language, and so I paint them into surreal landscapes where they are free to roam or fly. I try to get a sense of this in my photos too.
Do you have a favorite photograph of yours? Can you tell us the story behind it?
I do like my photograph of a horse ‘cloud surfing’, high above some tiny human surfers. It was a serendipitous moment and the last picture of the day at a kite festival. It’s a simple image and it is real, not manipulated. I am a bit obsessed with flying, wings and flying objects pervade many of my paintings.
How do you feel about your IG-community? Do you connect with them a lot? Do they help you find new ideas?
I have found my IG-community to be gentle and nurturing. I enjoy the mutual sharing and exchanges. Many friends provide amazing, insightful, and perceptive comments which in turn make me see my work with new triggers/associations that I had not previously noticed. I am indeed grateful for the people I have met on this platform. Some I have met in the real world after years of being visual ‘pen-pals’, so it is more like running into old friends when we actually meet.
Could you name some of your favorite Instagrammers who inspire you?
I really don’t have favorites. I tend to look at Painters more than Photographers…. But here is an eclectic list: @robertashtonphoto @fridakahlo @lifewithart @bejamin @teresacfreitas @serjios @vhgreet
Do you like sending and receiving postcards?
Yes, I really love them. Paper cards are super precious in this disposable world of tweets, text messages and emails. If ever I receive a handwritten card in my street post box, it lifts my spirits. I have always sourced them on my travels from art galleries all over the world and I even have album collections of them.
Did you know Pickmotion before we started our collaboration? If yes, how did you become aware of us?