LA Musings

selected works by Yvette Lodge

Asymmetric Magazine: Tell us about LA Musings.
Yvette Lodge: Los Angeles was an unexpected surprise when I arrived from England anticipating a crazy mélange of billboards, surfers, traffic and Hollyweirdness. Yes, those were present, but I was about to open a Pandora’s box of intrigue and subtleties. The artist in me saw a unique vibrancy with textures and colors shimmering in a Mediterranean light. I was smitten!
       I am never without a camera and wander the Westside and beach communities seeking out the nitty-gritty. I capture both abstract and realistic representations of life here and translate them into artworks. My instinctive approach to photography is through the eyes of a painter, resulting in images that are often mistaken for paintings.
       My interpretation of each of my pieces is driven variously by emotion and whimsy and I allow my imagination to flow without interference. I use simple hand-held cameras and work with available light only. I am passionate about every picture and each one has a special story which I am delighted to share.

AM: What is your biggest inspiration?
YL: Nature, particularly at the break of day–when waves crash louder, birds gather to gossip and palm trees glisten. Fluctuating light alters the essence of everything from the tiniest pebble to the creases in the Palisades bluffs. It creates exciting abstracts everywhere and it feeds my imagination.

AM: How has moving to Los Angeles changed or shaped your style?
YL: I found an ambient sense of clarity I had not experienced in Europe. There is a bright, non-judgmental spirit here–an openness which allowed me to shed the stiffness of being British and let my imagination run without fear of criticism.

AM: We love how you approach your work through the eyes of painter. When you're shooting, how much of it is instinctual vs. planned?
YL: It is 100% instinctual, never planned. I rarely go out with a particular destination or a theme in mind. I photograph what the mood of the day has to offer, and the day usually delivers! Back at my computer, I download my images with the anticipation of a child opening presents and feel so excited when I see a shot that has the potential to become a piece of art.

AM: Your abstract take on photography is so unique! Can you share a bit of your process for creating each piece?
YL: My love and practice of abstraction is second nature to me. Applying learned art skills allows me to visualize a result as I look through the lens. I usually shoot within a few feet of my subject matter and once I frame a composition I’m happy with, I take a dozen or more shots at slightly different angles. I prefer to work ‘bare bones’ and not allow the camera to create for me. Like a paintbrush, my camera is a tool that allows me to capture shapes and colors. I don’t use tripods or tricky lenses; I shun Photoshop and do not cut-and-paste - preferring to keep the compositions formed by nature or urban happenstance. In editing, I crop, clean-up, experiment with colors and hues and play with orientation until I’m happy with what I’d like the piece to convey.
       I see whimsical, often wry images in most of the pieces I create and I title my works accordingly, but in the end it’s each viewer’s own interpretation that matters and I certainly encourage people to see whatever pleases them.

AM: What is your favorite thing to photograph in LA?
YL: There are many, but I love the images I discover in sidewalks and my beach ‘findings’. Both subjects offer stories, hold history and express the beat of the people who live here.

AM: What music and/or specific songs are currently inspiring you?
YL: I listen to a wide variety of music while I work - from Dylan to Debussy. Although music itself is not the inspiration for my photos, it stimulates my creative process subliminally. I often choose an artist who will enhance the mood I wish to convey and usually remember who I was listening to when I created any given piece. As an example, for ‘Tinte Azul' it was Santana.

AM: What can we expect to see from you next?
YL: I would like to pay tribute to Topanga Canyon where I lived for several years. I’m working on some images which are inspired by the Chumash Indians who once thrived in the canyons and across the region. Their presence is everywhere.

Yvette Lodge is an LA-based photographer from England. She studied art and design at Southampton College of Art in Southampton, England. Her art has won in numerous competitions and showcased in exhibits in the UK and Southern California. You can find more of her work at yvettelodgeart.com and Saatchi Art.

Posted on May 4, 2016 .