TRENT MITCHELL - photographer
A new father and the recipient of this year's Moran Contemporary Photography award, Trent Mitchell is moving very quickly through life. A longtime ocean and travel photographer, his work has consistently expanded into new and exciting dimensions, never growing stale as he points his camera at every moving and still thing on his fantastic continent. We caught up with him to explore his newest body of work and find out more about this amazing artist...
Who are you?
I’m Trent Mitchell. I’m 36 years old, just became a Dad and I live in Burleigh Heads, Australia.
Describe your medium & process for your work…
I shoot still photographs. My personal work seems to flow in short intense bursts. Im either on or off. I’ve always thought I’m either in a state of conception or in a state of creation. Both are equally productive but I don’t do both at once with my personal work. My process ultimately is very fluid and I incorporate my life into my work. For a while there I was in the ocean every spare minute I had. I made a body of work around that, two books actually. Things have changed and I find my interests else where at the moment. I am pointing my camera at places and spaces to make a statement about my home and hopefully a body of work that stands up over time. Who knows thats my goal for now.
How did you find your passion? Who/what influences your work?
I found photography during art class at school and later on when I had a year off it all fell into place. We had to keep a visual diary about our major works and a camera was the easiest way to do that. I learnt about films and colour. Later I taught myself all of the technicalities I needed to create most pictures I wanted to. Then I got hooked once I got a water housing. My art world and surfing world collided and I knew I had found what I needed to be doing. Early on I looked to other photographers for inspiration but realised very quickly that all the inspiration I needed was in the subject and in the limitless potential of the creative process. I still hold the same inspiration now. I am driven by creativity and visual language. I am inspired by my subjects, people and places.
What excites you about your work? What do you struggle with?
I get excited about getting my film back from the lab, about light, about colliding elements and colour, about Australia and about the a sense of freedom in the unknown. I get excited by creative possibilities and long term projects, about telling stories and making pictures that just work. I get excited about seeing new places and shooting new subjects. Im excited by change.
I struggle with, like most artists, confidence in my work. By nature I lean more towards being shy and introverted. I really have to work at overcoming this frequently, and I do overcome it to a degree. Some how I think it makes me work harder. I use my pictures as my voice and thats about as simple as I can explain how I feel about struggles. Pictures are my way of explaining all things. I know it’s a cliche but its true. Pictures are the purest form of communication.
What are your goals? Where do you see yourself going?
My goals at the moment include finishing a longterm body of work about Australia, then submitting it to publishers, curators and one of the bigger art agencies in the world. I want to gain representation for commercial work overseas, as well as at home. I wish to make a transition into film making. It really does interest me. I’d love to direct short films and TVC’s. Once all these things take effect I see myself leaping out of the Australian market to work with global clients on a regular basis or having them come to me. Then after that I see my self publishing another book or two. Ahhh … it never ends :)