Interview: Fiona Christensen
Photographs: Jess Sara Wright
“I adore that I am privileged enough to be able to pursue something I am passionate about. It’s a major way in how I express myself.” – Jess Sara Wright
Archetype: How old do you feel?
Jess Sara Wright: Youthful? Age is relative.
A: Tell us something about yourself in one sentence
JSW: Finding one sentence is difficult, so I’ll let that be the sentence.
A: Where did you study and how has this changed your outlook on photography?
JSW: I’m studying Visual Communication Design at Stellenbosch University. Being immersed in a creative environment – the education, the individuals you meet along the way, the experience as a whole – has solidly influenced who I am now as a designer. Since we’ve only touched on photography, most of what I’ve learnt has been self-taught and thanks to scouring the Internet, mistakes, and my persistence to progress. I don’t have an outlook on photography (well, not a fixed one that should be documented) and I’m not sure I ever will. I have things to say, but I strongly believe against settling on an idea – even momentarily – because everything is constantly evolving.
A: What do you love about being a photographer?
JSW: I adore that I am privileged enough to be able to pursue something I am passionate about. It’s a major way in how I express myself. I don’t know if I’d call myself a photographer yet. That word holds so much weight.
A: Is your photography your main career path now?
A: What camera and equipment do you use?
JSW: A Canon 70D
A: What do you aim to capture and convey in your work?
JSW: Wildness, the raw beauty of nature, getting a little bit lost, awe… I am drawn to unexpected moments and tenderness.
A: We see the environment feature a lot in your work, has it got a special place in your heart?
JSW: Being outdoors, adventuring and travelling, is when I am most content. The work I share online is based around landscapes and the natural, but I have an offline collection of work that focuses on urban decay and the flaws of humanity
A: You have managed to create such wonderful dreamscapes with your landscapes, what is your technique?
JSW: It is part relying on an emotive response (like chemistry – it’s either there or it isn’t) and part luck.
A: What would be your dream location/person/thing to shoot?
JSW: I’d like to explore Central and Northern Africa. If I did take this further as a career, I’d like to develop a stronger visual voice and pair my photographs with journalism.
A: Can you remember your dreams in the morning?
JSW: I tend to remember snippets if my dreams are vivid.
A: Do your dreams ever impact your work?
JSW: Not literally, no.
A: Any favourite local performing artists/bands?
JSW: Spoek Mathambo, hands down. Music is magic; it moves me.
A: Film or Digital?
A: Spring or Autumn?
JSW: Don’t make me choose.
A: Ice-Cream or Cream?
JSW: Yes to ice-cream.