Purple Magazine
— Purple 76 Index issue #29 S/S 2018

Hawkesworth Jamie

purple portfolio

photography by JAMIE HAWKESWORTH
interview by ALEXIS DAHAN

ALEXIS DAHAN — You studied forensic science. What drove you toward criminology?

JAMIE HAWKESWORTH — At college, I studied biology and psychology, and at that time it felt like an interesting idea to then go on to study forensic science at university. I was very academic at school. I could never really get my head around anything artistic or creative… While studying forensics, I started using photography to document the evidence found in mock crime scenes. It was very simple and very objective, but I started to see photography in a new light. I then changed on a bit of a whim to a photography course. It was a strange intervention!

ALEXIS DAHAN — What happened then?

JAMIE HAWKESWORTH — Once I changed to a photography course at university, I pretty much instantly fell in love with taking photos and spending time in the darkroom. I couldn’t believe my luck that I found something I truly loved doing. I never experienced anything like it. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking, talking, and doing photography. It felt like the first time I created something.

ALEXIS DAHAN — Would “peaceful” describe your pictures?

JAMIE HAWKESWORTH — Yes, that’s nice… I think anything you truly love doing brings a sense of peace, and if that comes across or through, then I would be very happy.

ALEXIS DAHAN — The intimate relationship between the camera and your subjects is strikingly effortless. How do you create these impressions?

JAMIE HAWKESWORTH — I’m not really sure. I spent a lot of time approaching strangers and asking to take their portraits, and
I think that’s always been and still is a very important process. As a photographer approaching a stranger, you need to be sensitive and kind and open. You need to put yourself on the line, too, and I think that’s always stuck with me. It creates an intimate relationship, I think, even if it’s a fleeting one.

ALEXIS DAHAN — The New Yorker commissioned you to photograph Michael Heizer’s City, which made you one of the very rare people on earth to have seen this work. Can you tell us about the experience? How was it to take his portrait?

JAMIE HAWKESWORTH — I flew to Las Vegas and then drove into the Nevada desert to go see Michael’s City Land art project, and it is one of the most incredible pieces of Land art I’ve ever seen. I drove around on his huge masterpiece in a little buggy because it’s so vast, with my camera, chasing the sunrise.

ALEXIS DAHAN — A sneak peak at your Instagram account shows that you seem to be developing a sculpture practice, as well. Why do you like sculpture so much? How would you compare the practice of photography and sculpture? Are both mediums about stopping movement, or time?

JAMIE HAWKESWORTH — My sculptures are just a collection of objects. I love walking with my camera and not really knowing what I’m going to come across, or whom I’m going to photograph, and it’s the same with collecting objects. Then I explore how they sit together.



[Table of contents]

Purple 76 Index issue #29 S/S 2018

Table of contents

Purple Index 76

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