Tina Holowat is an analogue photographer from New York whose work tackles concepts of connecting with others and self-perception through isolated self-portraiture.
In the project statement for her ongoing series titled "Through the Window and Behind the Curtain," it is highlighted that Tina drew inspiration from the light filtering through a window. This illumination brought to her attention that the window's glass, which separates her from the outside world, represents how she perceives herself to be observed by others.
According to Tina, the use of analogue photography supports her feelings of isolation as it requires her to be completely present with herself and her camera during the whole process.
Her use of the sheer curtain behind the window and multiple-exposures both help to emphasize an ambiguous clarity of how well we know ourselves versus how others perceive us.
Hi Tina, welcome to Lomography Magazine! Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself and your work?
Hi, I’m from Long Island, New York, studying photography and related media at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Currently, I am exploring documentary and self-portrait work combining both personal and universal ideas in order to connect with others.
Can you tell us about the concept of “Through the Window and Behind the Curtain” and how the initial idea came to fruition?
The concept of this series explores how I perceive myself and how I am seen by others. Inspired by the light coming through the window, I felt a connection to the outside, yet, still very isolated.
Can you tell us a bit about the process that has gone into making the project?
I started experimenting with different lenses, angles and times of day as well as different types of film. From there, it was a lot of shooting and re-shooting, working to perfect each frame.
How does the idea of what you describe as "light coming through the window" separating you from the outside world represent your feelings of isolation? How do you convey this in the series of photos?
The window is what keeps me isolated and the light is the one element that keeps me connected to the outside. This series illustrates my perspective on isolation while also giving a viewpoint of what this looks like from the outside.
How would you say the aesthetics of film photography complement your work as opposed to digital?
I primarily shoot film because of its engaging process. Film is a much more direct and unfiltered way to photograph which plays a large role in this series.
Has the direction of the project changed at all over the course of working on it?
When the series first began I was photographing using HP5 black and white film. It was through shooting and re-shooting that I made the change to Portra 400 in order to really capture the color of the sunlight.
How do you feel the use of photography has expanded your engagement with others?
The use of photography has made me more reflective about myself, opening me up to new experiences and connections bridging the gaps within my relationships.
Where do you see yourself and your work going from here?
I am going to continue to explore film and self portraiture, and as I grow and learn I will
continue to share my journey.
If you're interested in keeping up with Tina and her work make sure to check out her Instagram.