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  How would you describe your work in one word?    Considered.    What are some challenges you face being a female artist?    At this point in my career it’s just the occasional mansplain which, is annoying but nothing compared to when I started out. While looking for assisting jobs I was told to my face by several photographers and studios that they wouldn’t hire me because I was female. I still find it outrageous looking back now! It mostly came down to the physical aspect of the job. They thought a woman couldn’t lift as much as a kit, which is ironic as they were happy to hire men smaller than me. Rather than give me a go they thought it was ok to be sexist. All of the best opportunities I’ve had were given to me by other women. Hopefully now there is more diversity at the top and it will start to filter down, but it’s definitely not happening quickly enough.              
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  How would you describe your work in one word?    Thoughtful    What are some challenges you face being a female artist?    I’ve often felt very underestimated. But I’m noticing a shift in the industry which is nice. There are more and more women bringing their point of view onto the scene.    
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  What is the process for your collage work like? Is it about color and texture or is there more complexity behind it?    The process usually starts from a photograph I choose to work on.     In my collage work I am aiming to capture a feeling of a particular moment or place. I experiment with endless amounts of shades and textures to get what I want. It’s like a puzzle that changes all the time. I think the magic is in deciding when to stop. I use material of my own life and elements of my own work so it kind of a happy accident. I see my collages as scattered typography.    How would you describe your work in one word?    Anti serious    What are some challenges you face being a female artist?    I believe in girl power! yet I am a typical lone-hard-working female. 
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  How would you describe your work in one word?    Effervescent    What are some challenges you face being a female artist?    We have more obstacles to overcome in a male dominated world, so it just adds more confines to think outside of, which for me becomes more interesting. I think as a woman our nature is very giving, and we have to try harder to become more demanding of what we want and where we want to go. To be more ballsy for a lack of a better word.     Being a maker of photography, design, illustration to name a few, what inspires you and how you decide which medium and material to work with?    There is no exact rhyme or reason. It’s like a puzzle every time. That is the part of the process I love the most, I think my brain is always working in all three, thinking of how the photograph can enhance a greater design overall, how the illustrated can be photographed or what parts of the photograph can be extracted to make a surreal collage world. It is a lot of trial and understanding what feels right and has the visual alignment I am looking for. 
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  After teaching architecture for 23 years you turned your focus to photography. What made you decide to become a fine art photographer?    I was interested in spatial perception, and felt that I could use photography as a means to work out some of the questions I was interested in, particularly about the translation from three dimensional space to two dimensional image.    What are some challenges you face being a female artist?    I can’t point to anything specific . It seems that so many of my heroes are female artists but that was not by design, It just ends up being the work that I respond to. That being said, there is no doubt that women still have a long road ahead to find parity in terms of our institutional representation.    How would you describe your work in one word?     Ongoing
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  How would you describe your work in one word?    Subtly magical (that’s two words)    What are some challenges you face being a female artist?    Growing up in Japan, my sister and I had to do the dishes every night while my brother watched tv or ready books. When I asked my mother why he didn’t have to do the dishes, she said, “Don’t worry. He will do very important things some day. Even as a small child, I remember feeling very dissatisfied by this answer, and the different treatment I got just because I was a female. Luckily, as an artist, I don’t encounter that kind of treatment to often if at all. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened but, even if I had I wouldn’t know if I were treated differently because I’m a female or Japanese or both. Actually, years ago, when I was photographing Donald Trump on an assignment he told me, “What you need to do is marry a famous musician. Yoko Ono did very well for herself.” So yes, things come up that echo my childhood in some ways.     In your series “I Use To Be “ you you are the subject as an older woman. What did it feel like to be in this character? Was it a version of your future self?    Well the character is not my literal “future self” but a fictional character who has some of me in her.  As I picked clothes for her, scouted locations to photograph her, and applied the make up to become her, a lot of compassion and love sprung out of me toward this fictional woman.    Some people told me that the book seemed melancholic, but to the contrary, I was thinking about the celebration of life as I worked on the series.    Life is meant to be lived in every phase, even into old age. Life and change continue as long as you are alive.     Betty Davis once said, “aging isn’t for sissies”, and I think it’s great that she said that.
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  Engaging strangers with a camera, let alone in a foreign country, is not easy to accomplish. What is your approach to engaging people in your photos so naturally?    I’m typically shooting in remote areas where there is little tourism and my presence can cause a range of reactions- from intrigue to fear. Smiling is the most disarming way to begin communication. Then I speak in their language (if it’s French or English) or learn specific words to communicate in the local dialect. With this, I can ask permission and explain why I’d like to take their photograph.     What are some challenges you face being a female artist?    I believe that being a female probably allows me more access to photographing people in foreign countries. I assume I’m less intimidating to women and children- particularly in areas where women do not interact with men in public. On the other hand, I struggle with the fact that as a female I am less safe traveling in certain areas of the world. I am less inclined to wander the streets on my own and this lack of freedom can negatively affect my experience and my work.    How would you describe your work in one word?    Vibrant
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  What are some challenges you face being a female artist?    I often found balancing my photographic work while raising 3 young children was pretty challenging ; however I was able to overlap the two worlds. To be honest I believe that my challenges as an artist are not necessarily related to being a woman. My femaleness is usually a great help when I’m making pictures. Perhaps my subjects react more trustingly, perhaps I find a smoother path to a sweet place of vulnerability which is so utterly human.       Before becoming a professional photographer you were an actress. What made you decide to make this change? Have any of your acting skills come through in your photography?    I gave up being an actress because I was too sensitive, too thin skinned, and I found the rejections a burden.  Plus I was at war with my own self-consciousness.  However I remained fascinated by the process of recording humanity and capturing fragments of life.  My father said once, when I was asking for his help with an audition piece, that I’d make a better director than actor. Those words stung at the time, and they were accurate. Consequently, as a photographer, I think I have a short cut to empathy. I know that place through the looking glass, on the other side of a lens, the sensation of the gaze. Portraits of others are also self portraits, to an extent, and an ongoing self-interrogation. My experiences as an actress, and watching accomplished actors at work, with an almost forensic attention, has enabled me to see through artifice and get to the heart of the matter, which is where I like to find myself.     How would you describe your work in one word?    Tender
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  Can you tell me about this series featured in this book? Is it a self portrait?   ‘ Utopia (working title)’ is a series made from images found online of Japanese gravure idols. Gravure (グラビア) usually refers to visual materials that feature young female models who often wear bikinis or lingerie in suggestive poses. My interest in the poses and gazes of the gravure models triggered me to start cutting out the models from prints and place them in gradations I created. The way women are often perceived in the media are made more apparent when we see them removed from their context - playful, flexible, provocative, shy, seductive, youthful and submissive.  I would see these gravure images everyday, when I lived in Japan.  Back then the purpose of these images seemed too obvious to me. Now I am trying to read into it - why is it so important for the gravure idols to look like teenagers? Why do they need to be photographed in sitting position? Why are they outwardly seducing men but also suggesting that they are shy? There is a lot to be questioned in these images, they could also lead to answers relating to how women are perceived in society. I hope to raise questions through this body of work.     What are some challenges you face being a female artist?    I’ve never thought of being a female artist and how it could affect me until I started working on set with clients. I was never conscious of my gender and how I was viewed by others. It was a refreshing moment when I encountered a client on set, telling me that ‘We’ve never had a female photographer’, after shaking my hand. At that moment, I had a brisk awakening that I am a female photographer to them, not a photographer. It ensued me to think of the industry in a different perspective, and to think of certain struggles that could be happening to other artists, due to their gender or sexual orientation. Being a woman does not stop me from being an artist. Realizing the problems we have, not just in art but in every corner of our society, could only help us to find solutions. My challenge is in how to solve it - how to educate myself better, how to understand the world better.    How would you describe your work in one word?    Curiosity
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  How would you describe your work in one word?    Irreverent. But the lack of taking things too seriously, not the disrespectful part. I guess I needed 12 words.     What are some challenges you face being a female artist?    There have been a few occasions on set where I’ve had a male assistant and people have introduced themselves to him first, thinking he was the photographer. That was pretty revealing.     Your own experiences seem to inspire your work, one being ‘Public School’, where there is a letter addressed to your parents. Can you talk about that series and your own experience at school?    I was at an all girls boarding school, 3,500 miles away from my family, which was both isolating and liberating. With only 22 girls in my class it was pretty easy to stand out, which also meant that the minor rebellions were magnified. I was deemed a trouble maker for stealing Nutella and streaking across the lacrosse pitch, which both seemed very frivolous and petty to me. I couldn’t wait to get out of there and so when I was considering a project focusing on boarding schools, I couldn’t imagine anything worse than going back there -which then seemed like exactly the reason to do it. 
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