Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Conversation with Lane Collins

from the' Alchemy' series © Lane Collins

Magical Realism is a quality hard to capture well, but Lane Collins has a knack for it.
Lane found the Nymphoto blog on the web and left a comment-- and that is how I found Lane.
Lane's imagery runs a gamut of emotions and expresses a distinct vision. There is a special & whimsical quality to all of Lane's work, and it made me want to know more about this artist and her work -- and that is what led to following interview with Lane Collins.

from the 'Alchemy' series © Lane Collins

NP: Tell us a little about yourself.

LC: I grew up in Hickory, North Carolina, a little town northwest of Charlotte. It's the kind of place where every chain restaurant imaginable springs up, because it's at a spot where a number of highways & interstates meet. I grew increasingly unhappy there the older I got, and made a break for it at 18, first to Atlanta, then California, where I studied photography at the San Francisco Art Institute. After graduation, I moved to New Zealand, about as impulsively as one can with an international move. I live in a small town on the northern tip of the South Island called Nelson, best known for its sunny weather and relatively high concentration of artists. Though I do love it here, it's been a tough trade-off leaving my friends and family – and all things photography – behind. The upside is that I have plenty of time to make pictures.

from the' Chasing Rainbows' series © Lane Collins

NP: How did you discover photography?

LC:I took my first photography class at 16; my mom bought me my first SLR for my birthday. I remember wandering around taking pictures in the back alleys of my little town. As soon as I made my first print in the darkroom, I was hooked.

from the 'Chasing Rainbows' series © Lane Collins

NP: Where do you find inspiration?

LC: It varies from project to project. Right now, I'm far away from museums and books are very expensive here (I'm talking 30 bucks for a paperback!), so the internet is my main source of connectedness. Since I graduated from SFAI, my projects seem to either evolve out of what I'm experiencing personally, or come from a random idea I have one day that sticks.

from the 'Chasing Rainbows' series © Lane Collins

NP: How do your projects come about?

LC: Generally, I would say they tend to come out of whatever's going on in my life at the time. For example, the images I've grouped under the title Chasing Rainbows were made around the time I moved to New Zealand, while saying goodbye to family and during the long and awkward post-immigration adjustment period.

The pictures I'm making now have snowballed from a themed group exhibition concept surrounding the four elements. My element is Air, and through research I gathered a number of words that have been associated with Air in various religions and cultures throughout history – for example: life force, expansion, oneness, light, soul – and used those to guide me. I realized how well the concept fit with a lot of things I'd already been thinking about, so I felt really inspired. It's become a "down the rabbit hole" sort of journey, using symbology to explore my own beliefs and spirituality. Making it has been pretty intense.

from the 'Alchemy' series © Lane Collins

NP: What's next?

LC: I feel really excited about the series I'm making now, so I'm trying to stay focused on that. Once I get this out of my system, I've got a couple of ideas for portrait projects that I want to pursue.

NP: Thank you so much!

To see more of Lane's work please head to her website: and visit her blog: -- and if you are in New Zealand you can see Lane's work at the Reflections Gallery at the World of Wearable Art Museum in Nelson, New Zealand through October 21, 2008.

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