Every week I introduce another member of Cork Analogue Photographers and their work. In this third profile we meet Sanda, her beautiful portraits & her dreamy landscapes. – Miriam
Name: Sanda Gāliņa
Where are you from? Kuldiga, Latvia
And how did you end up in Cork? Initially I first came to Cork during my gap year to study English but stayed for couple of months only and moved to London. I had made few friends here so I returned to Cork in 2000 to study Film and Video production for 2 years . Here I am, still years later.
What cameras do you use? Canon 35mm SLR, Lubitel2, Kiev90, Holga, Polaroid
What was your very first camera? Zenit.
Tell me a little about how you got into photography? I guess photography has always been somewhere in the background. Growing up my father was developing his own film in our bathroom and my uncle was printing his own pictures. We had quite a few photography books in the house. My favourite one that I used to look through again and again was of black and white portraits and street photography by Vilhelm Mihailovskis. Looking at them felt somehow magical. I went to a private school with strong focus on Art and Humanities and graduated School Of Art. That’s probably where my initial perception and sense for image evolved. Taking pictures in a way has always been parallel to painting and drawing but somehow I never considered it as a form of self expression. I’m still constantly finding my self in the world of photography.
Why choose analogue photography? Photography is one to me, I don’t distinguish between analogue or digital, at the end it’s the subject that matters. I started taking pictures using film and so I guess I haven’t moved on but in truth digital somehow doesn’t affect me in the same way as film does. Maybe one day it will. I also love the process of developing and printing in darkroom, it’s very different and special, in a way almost calming to me. Unfortunately working in a darkroom is becoming somewhat of a luxury to me.
What are your influences and who are some of your favourite photographers? Andrei Tarkovsky has always inspired me and still does in a very special way, helps me to introspect. I think life in general is the main influence. They are small things like music, theatre or having read a good book. They are the small moments of life that inspire me. I love Dali, Maija Tabaka, Otto Dix, Sandra Flood, – their work has that endlessness and compelling emotion that attracts and inspires me. Same in the literature- Gogol, Turgenef, Tolstoy, Mikhail Bulgakov, Proust, Knut Hamsun, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf. My influences among photographers are Francesca Woodman, Sally Mann, Diane Arbus, Antoine D’Agata, Vee Sppers. I have great respect and admiration for Stanley Greene as photographer.
What would your dream photography day be like? Who/what/where would you shoot? I don’t think I have a dream day as such, a dream camera –yes or a day where I would have plenty of my own space? It’s the end result that means the most to me, the process it self matters only to a certain point but not to extent that I have an ultimate fixed dream. But then again I don’t say my dreams out loud for they will not come true.
To see more of Sanda’s work go to Sanda Galina on Flickr.