We’ve decided to start a section featuring interviews with fellow creatives who live in Paris, to gain insight into how others are inspired by the urban landscape and the environment around them.
Ella Strowel – Photographer
Why did you move to Paris?
I moved to Paris almost three years ago after having done a foundation year in London. I moved to Paris to study photography at Paris College of Art.
What are your typical sources of inspiration?/ How do you find inspiration?
I find most of my inspiration through looking at the work of other photographers and artists. Most of my inspiration comes from the work of photographers, however this year I enjoyed researching the work of sculptors for the project I am currently working on. I enjoy looking at photography books and going to exhibitions and shows in Paris. Another great source of inspiration is talking to peers and friends, those who know your work often have a great insight into what you should look at and research.
Where is your favorite place in Paris?
During the warmer months and when the weather accommodates it, I enjoy going to the park and having a lazy day. One of my favourite is Parc Des Buttes Chaumont. For me going to les Buttes Chaumont is a way of escaping the city whilst still being in it, and you dont have to go very far, almost forget that you are in a busy city.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?
There are many ways I like to spend my days off, but my favourite is walking around Paris and spending the day by myself with my own thoughts. Taking photographs for my own pleasure whilst listening to my music, and forgetting everything else. Ending my day with a drink with friends.
When is the last time you went on an adventure and where did you go?
My last big adventure was last year when I went to New York for 5 months. This was a great eye opening adventure not only on a personal level but also in my own artistic practise. Where I developed a body of work that lead me to further develop the project I worked on this year. I thoroughly enjoyed living in New York, and hope that one day I might be able to go back and pursue a career there.
How does Paris influence you?
The city of Paris has greatly influenced me in my own photographic practise. This year I walked and photographed the streets and pavements of Paris. What most interests me in a city are the detritus left behind by the inhabitants as proof of the life that is being lived. I try and find beauty and art in what others view as rubbish, giving it purpose by photographing it.
Are there any particular creative practices you have? Ways to get yourself out of an artist’s block?
As an artist it often happens for me to feel un-inspired, or stuck in the project I’m currently working on. I try and continue to work and push myself further and try and move past the block by continuing on working, however sometimes it helps me if I step back and leave my project for a while and concentrated on research by looking at the other photographers work or going to museums and galleries. For me one of the best ways to get myself out of an artist block is to also talk to my peers and teachers.
Ella is a Paris based photographer originally from Brussels. She recently completed her BFA in photography at the Paris College of Art (May 2016) . She spent a semester abroad at the School of Visual Arts of New York (Spring 2015). With her Hasselblad, Strowel captures urban scenes of everyday life moments and objects left behind, in black and white.Turning to color, whilst using the same medium format camera, Strowel is working on a new series“Untitled”, where she unveils through sculpture the possible beauty of Parisian litter.