Analogue explorer Amy Marie Gladding’s body of work is a feast to behold for anyone’s eyes. She paints surreal worlds that come to life through her mixed media approach. Apart from using special films, she applies other techniques and processes to make each composition as unique as it can be.
Amy encountered film photography in art college — where she joined a photography workshop that was a very popular choice and slots easily filled up quickly. After that, she started learning more about it while pursuing her Fine Arts degree at university. She eventually fell in love with the slow burn process of film photography. Though Amy admits she's usually keen and eager for quick results (thus her special love for instant film), the anticipation and excitement to see developed negatives bubbles within her.
Her background in art and design has led her to learn a variety of skills and processes so she can apply them to her own photography.
”I work with a lot of spontaneity and I’m often wanting immediate results, so I’ve always been happy and confident to experiment and learn from my mistakes as I go.”
Her experiments range from collages, lumens, 3D sculptural pieces, multiple exposures, and beyond — and she has a knack for overlapping them. Her favorite however would be collaging, as she loves to mix them up with techniques and processes.
Amy’s openness to the unknown lets her easily flow across the tides of trial and error. While frustrations are inevitable, her love for experimentation comes first. Being an art and photography teacher at a secondary school and sixth form allows her to be more receptive to ideas and practices. She says, ” Often, I am researching projects and practical ideas for workshops for students and this sparks something within my own practice, and I will start producing again. I'm not sure if I’ve found ‘my style’ yet or maybe your style continually evolves as your interests change and you grow.”
Amy is fond of Lomography. The selection here largely comes from her various explorations with Lomography art films and cameras such as with the LomoChrome Purple, LomoChrome Metropolis and the Sprocket Rocket.
“I love love LOVE the purple film it is just so unique and unpredictable! I'll take a shot and have a clear idea in my head how I think it will look and then every time the results are such a gorgeous surprise! I have only shot two rolls of the LomoChrome Metropolis film so far and I am definitely interested in keeping shooting more as I love the washed-out blues and greens you get. I need to explore it further!”
For Amy, reading up and researching techniques, familiarizing, and learning from professional and amateur artists alike are essential in pursuing this kind of art. And of course, a good amount of confidence and passion to enjoy this creative process. There’s no point in pursuing this kind of art form if there’s stress or pressure.
Amy recently launched a new website where she can sell her own works and raise awareness of her experimental artistry. She also has an upcoming exhibition in August at a local gallery. She also continues to participate in open calls in order to put her unique, challenging, and admirable body of work out there.