So the conversation went a little something like this :
A: So I wanna talk to you about doing an Interview for Juxt.
G : You want me to interview you?
A : No silly, I want to interview YOU!
G : Seriously, me?
A : Yes! I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.
G : ….. huh ?!!…..Okay, deep breaths… **hyperventilates*… I’m not used to all this attention, I’m flattered, but can’t believe I’m here amongst well – insert seriously long list of talented individuals here – so many people who inspire me daily…
A: Anna G: Giulia
A: The above image is one of my all time top ten favorites I’ve seen on IG. There is something pitiful but proud about him. We have nicknamed him smexy and all I want to do is feed him soup.
Music playing in the background : Radiohead – All I Need, Jeff Buckley – Halleluiah , Massive Attack – Paradise Circus, Sia – Breathe Me, The Doors – Riders on the Storm, Jimi Hendrix – Stairway to Heaven, PJ-Harvey/Thom Yorke – This Mess We’re In, Stevie Wonder – Superstition, The White Stripes -Seven Nation Army
A: Tell me a little about you in real life. The real deal Hollifield. Giulia in living color.
G: G in Real Life … so you mean I’m not going to wake up & realise this is all just a dream? *pinch me* Well okay then let’s go right ahead and shatter all those who preconceptions about me being so “mysterious” why don’t we?!
A: I adore you! Maybe you are technicolor.
G: Let’s start off with location, people sometimes assume I’m from Europe (or Mars) – must be that Italian name of mine or my weird sleeping patterns – one or the other – but i’m actually based in Melbourne, Australia. My background though is Italian, both my parents were born there… I actually did some schooling there when i was about 10 – so can speak/read it fairly fluently – I also learned Japanese in high school – which i can’t speak at all fluently – & helped me zero amount when i visited Japan a couple of years ago. I have family all over the globe from Germany to Canada / New York / South America… & I like to travel.
A: Let’s talk moola. How do you make yours?
G: What do I do for a living? I am a Graphic Designer by day – albeit one with photographic & artistic tendencies at night. Do I consider myself a Photographer? No, but I’m learning & loving it & it has been a passion of mine since I first picked up my dad’s Minolta back when i was around 5 or 6 – I remember playing around with it in our backyard on the steps & in the garden (I was so curious about it so eventually he let me play – though i was so careful with it it seemed like some kinda mystical object – so heavy in my little hands – & even then I liked to zoom in on the details with the closeup lens). Its funny how vivid that memory is for me, feels like yesterday. There was always a camera around at every occasion, along with cake , either his SLR or video – I wish he’d kept his super8 camera, though there’s still reels of film from even older cameras somewhere gathering dust & fraying with time. I was devastated when his slr was stolen from my car when i was still at uni – it’s safe to say I had adopted that camera as my own. & it was the day before my folio was due. I was in complete shock – my lecturer told me to “go home, have a scotch & take a bath” – & he gave me an extension for my folio. & well … I haven’t really used film since.
Me? To sum up – I guess I see the beauty in everyday things. I like to capture it any way I can… I love the details. & my eyes are always open ready to take in any moment.
A: What’s a typical day look like for you? I know you LOVE getting up early. You always get the worm don’t you?
G: A typical day involves me groaning at the clock & rolling over not wanting to get up in the morning. Once I stumble out of bed I am barely functional before 12 pm. I usually start the day with by checking my instagram feed (yes i’ve been an addict ever since I first started on there around March 2011), & me easing my head around the idea that I’m awake by answering any personal or work emails that are waiting for me….
I’m lucky enough to work for myself now. My first real client when I graduated was a trial run – a dream really, working on a concept for a momento for a private collection of Japanese art – (I don’t know where those kind of jobs have disappeared to now!) She hired me after that. I worked there for awhile until she moved on to Film & closed the design business. I took off overseas for awhile & travelled. When I got back I fell into working in-house in a more corporate/retail environment – I became bored with that after rebranding & creating new identities/packaging/signage/
Currently I rent a space with some other creatives (an illustrator, printmaker, & photographer), in a beautiful old building which has some great exposed brick surfaces & arches & wonderful character mixed with some modern finishings. I love the flexibility & usually have Wednesday free for my own thing which I like to spend eating at the latest cafe on my list followed by hunting through thrift stores for vintage or retro packagingand clothes. I love Japanese books with exposed binding & pages of calligraphy, and fabrics & papers with distressed or deckled edges make me swoon…
A: If you could shoot anything what would it be? And don’t give me one of those crazy unspecific answers.
G: Hmmm I think I just know it when I see it.
A: Really G?
G: I’m impossible to walk with. I’m always running off down some laneway, or up some side street, ducking into old buildings, sneakily taking photos while I think no one is watching, trespassing on abandoned properties due for demolition – shhhh don’t tell, generally speaking I’m chasing the light often with no regard for my personal safety (um hello nearly setting foot into oncoming traffic, & um junkies in dodgy rundown places). Honestly I’m not sure my ‘real world’ friends really get it most of the time! They are usually scratching their head thinking what the hell is she photographing now? I gravitate towards textures & abstract shadows. Old posters, paper, type, tactile things with soul, anything calligraphic, graffiti, rusted locks, broken glass, discarded rubbish,things that look like they’ve been worn & weathered by time, but have been fascinated by expressions on faces lately. People watching is fascinating, it’s fun to make up stories to their lives just by observing. There’s nothing like that moment of realisation when you’ve “got it” that shot, & you can call it a day. I find myself going out whenever I have the spare time looking for the next perfectly imperfect moment. I’ve often wondered what it would be like becoming a food stylist, combining my love of food AND photography but I like doing that as a hobby for now – documenting my every meal. lol but there’s a food blog or recipe book in there somewhere I know it! Theres a few countries on my wishlist to go visit that i would need a limitless roll for… the mosques & shadows of Turkey/Spain are probably high on my architectural wishlist though. Though I’ve been to Spain it was more of a sightseeing visit than a photographic journey – I’d be armed with an iphone this time around. & give me an abandoned space any day of the week & I will come running, anywhere, anytime.
A:What inspires you? Other than me, lava cupcakes, and scones? Just kidding.. *puts on serious face* okay. Really, what moves you?
G: In terms of inspiration, it can come from anywhere at any given moment, if I’m feeling receptive I’m like a sponge soaking up everything in my environment. If i’m feeling uninspired or down I’ll often break out the ink, this tends to free me up creatively & is a kind of visual therapy. I’ve never considered myself “good at drawing” in fact I have always thought I was terrible at it. It wasn’t until my drawing teacher suggested I try ink, that I had that moment where I felt it somehow translated something I was feeling in a raw, emotive, way. In terms of artists, there are too many to mention them all but some which immediately come to mind given my fascination with ink, colour, and shape are : Twombly, Pollock, Franz Klein, Richter, Kiefer, John Cage, Miro, Kandinsky, Picasso, Rothko, Fornasetti, Serra. Photographers : I feel like I’m still learning about but a few which resonate with me : Mario Giacomelli & Siskind also Man Ray, Kertesz & Blossfeldt. I think Japanese & islamic calligraphy is the most beautiful thing with letters falling like rain on a page. Retro type from old magazines, old woodblock letters, handwriting, old postcards, woodblock prints from masters like Hokusai. & absolutely any words from the poet Pablo Neruda – they’re exquisite – I often quote them in my photographs & sometimes lyrics from songs.
A: First, can I just say I love your artist picks up there- Miro, Klein, Rothko *sigh* Anyway, next question. How has having a camera that’s a sometimes phone changed the way you look at things?
G: Not sure if how I see things has actually changed, but the method of documenting it certainly has. If someone could build me a darkroom in my house I would probably be eternally grateful. In the end I don’t think it matters how you take the picture but the fact that you do take the picture, noticing those details that a hundred or a thousand people walk right by is the first step. Turning it sideways & thinking how else can I view or perceive the situation fascinates me. Though I think I’m more keenly aware of my need to visualise emotions or interpret them through images NOW, & am drawn to pictures that have a soul – like someone breathed life into them & left behind only the traces. I feel, in a way, more receptive to the world around me, perhaps more acutely aware, though I’d say my graphic background has played a part in the way I see & “frame” things, only now I have a more immediate way to capture & share it with others. I also adore a bit of ambiguity in a story, engaging the viewer & leaving them often with more questions than answers. It’s all too easy otherwise. Point. Shoot. Perceive. What’s the point?
A: If you had to categorize your self were would you land artistically? I know you hate this question but I think your talent is multi-faceted. So you are totally allowed to circle D- all of the above
G: I really struggled to answer this question. I even asked some other people. For one thing, i hate talking about myself. I’d much rather listen to someone else tell me their stories than carry on about myself. I’m more than likely to launch into self-deprecating sarcasm than to spout endless adjectives about my own personal graphic style – I’d much rather talk about yours instead. Truth is, I don’t want to put myself in a box. Going through my photos I realised that, there is no singular theme… sure there are links, a love for light & shadows – dark & bright, black and white. Then there are sparks of colour, like splashes of ink, red is dotted through my photos in one way or another like little drops of emotion, & calligraphy weaves in and out through the urban graffiti. There is definitely the more abstract me,which i tend to fall back on by default – illustrated best in my book Whispers, & the street G,who has been emerging more slowly, and inquisitively recently. Honestly, shooting people scared me to death before, its much ‘easier’ doing textures.Choosing a couple of images to represent me was near impossible, since I don’t think I’ve taken my best shot yet, and, since there is no singular ‘style’ but a range of them. All linked by a common thread & a common voice – mine.
A: G you are more than fantastic. I have so enjoyed our late night/early morning chats when one of us is half asleep. If I had a lava cupcake I would go halfsies with you. Thanks for chatting me up.