POETIC IMAGES OF SEMI-NAKED BODIES ARE PRESENTED ALONGSIDE FRAGILE LANDSCAPES, HUMAN ENCOUNTERS AND PERSONAL MOMENTS. THE WORLD OF SWEDISH PHOTOGRAPHER LINA SCHEYNIUS RESEMBLES A CALENDAR OF BLURRY MEMORIES AS SHE TALKS ABOUT HER FIRST BOOK’S PUBLICATION.
How did you start dealing with photography? When did you realize that this is what you wanted to follow? I was drawing obsessively from an early age and as time went by I started to use my camera instead. I really only started to spend proper time on it just over a year ago, before that I was only ever taking pictures for myself. About a year ago a photographer friend of mine who had seen my photos told me I should try to do some fashion pictures, as it would be good practice. I asked my friend Amanda, who collects vintage dresses, if she wanted to style it and she asked a magazine if they wanted to publish it, after that it all went pretty fast.
Your work is characterized by an intimate and fragile feeling. Can you describe your concept and how it evolved? Not really. I just keep working and experimenting with things I find interesting without thinking too much about what I am doing in the moment I do it.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Could you name some of your references? I get ideas while walking in big cities or forests listening to good music. I love the photographs by Araki of his wife and the first photographs I fell in love with were in AÅãke HedstroÅNm’s book “Emma”. Boris Mikhailov’s work interests me too, as well as cinematography. Growing up and seeing my dad’s photographs has definitely had an impact on me. He is not a photographer but he used to take a lot of pictures of us as kids.
You are a self-taught photographer. How much (if any) difference did it make when you first started to promote your work in comparison to people who have a degree on the subject? I have never experienced any problems due to my lack of education. Things have happened very quickly for me and there has never been anyone asking for a paper where I can prove my skills or merits. I personally don’t have much faith in creative education and I am very happy I have never chosen to do one.
You have directed a couple of videos for the band Lecain and also created video portraits. Do you intend to produce more videorelated projects? The videos I made were just for friends. I don’t have any ambition to go into it professionally, it is just something I have done for fun and I will probably keep doing it for the same reason.
You have been living in London for the last few years. Do you believe that it is the place to be for a contemporary artist? I have actually left London just a few months ago and I am living in Paris now. London has been great for me in many ways and I still go there to work for magazines, still the reason I was there before was never because of my photography. I have no idea where the best place to be for a contemporary artist is. All I know is that London is great for being a very tolerant and vibrant place, but it is very expensive and sometimes I think there is too much movement there, too many peopletrying to get somewhere and create something,and that results in something not too different from a big traffic jam.
Your first book has been published. Would you like to tell us a few words about it? I think I was ill in a bunk bed in Ulaanbaatar when I decided I wanted to start making photographic books. I wanted them to be light and affordable, something that anyone can buy without having to think twice. I find beautiful photographic books all the time that I don’t buy because they cost a lot and they are very heavy. The only books I ever buy are soft back novels, so I wanted to make a photographic version of that. Hopefully this is number one in a series of many. The photographs are taken within the space of one year and they are mainly Polaroid. It is a limited edition of 400 numbered and signed copies and it is sold exclusively through my website (www.linascheynius.com).
What are your future plans? To publish my second book and to buy a little house by a lake in Sweden.