Design a site like this with
Get started

Ari Lawson

“It’s great being able to look around me and be directed by the visual stimuli”

Ari in his studio at home

What are the limitations of having a studio that is also your room? 

There’s a lot, for one the lack of space itself, storage is terrible. The dichotomy between trying to maintain an artistic space and also a liveable nice bedroom that you don’t hate being in is quite difficult but rewarding. As much as having more space would be awesome, it’s nice to have everything around me. As I mostly do photographic work, editing is ideal in here with so much imagery and inspiration around me. 

You have a lot of your own work hanging up, I was wondering if you could tell me a bit about your photographic process? 

It’s very documentary, having it surrounding the room can definitely trap you. It’s quite repetitive to an extent, perhaps consistent is a better word.  It’s great being able to look around me and be directed by the visual stimuli. On my computer, I am really bad at storing images and it just becomes a mess, physically it’s a lot easier to process. They are like physical files, but then there are prohibitions of doing that, the costs of the prints and the time cost as well.

How do you balance full time study with your personal practice? 

Honestly, with difficulty, I definitely don’t have the money for the cost of film. Fortunately, I just learnt to develop my own on friday and we are scanning all of that this coming friday so I won’t have to rely on Camera House and their twice a week black and white development anymore. 

There’s also some images that surprise me, there’s a few impressionist paintings, how do you stay inspired? 

I try and keep a really broad sense of my inspirations, whether it directly influences me or if it’s to avoid stagnation in looking at the same things. I’ve been trying to watch heaps of documentaries on Kanopy which is a ‘stan-like’ video streaming service but for art-house films and docos as that’s a more constructive way to consume media. 

Your room seems to reflect your mix of inspirations perfectly ! 

Yeah its in nicer state than before, previously that wall was separated between my own photography, which is the six by fours, and others. While a lot of my work is on display, having a desk and drawers to keep my stuff in is really nice. Combining my work with those who inspire me allow me to stay motivated. 

Most of your photos aren’t taken here, how does your studio expand beyond this room? 

I guess I see my space as an extension of myself and a way of giving permanence to the moments that I see as important. I do some other work in this space like painting and a lot of editing in here but yeah, the more important factor is the camera itself. I wish I did could use this studio to create more images though, having some nice lighting would be good. Really I just need to invest in a bunch of sheets because I have no free space in this room, I need one blank wall, but that’s a luxury of living out of home I reckon. 

A lot of your imagery is skate related, how does this side of your life influence your work? 

 What I find most appealing about both practices (skateboarding and photography) is their spontaneity. And that comes together in the sense that I don’t really plan out a lot of my photos beyond seeing the moment occur and the same goes for skating, it’s quite fluid and it depends on the obstacles around you, which I guess is a good metaphor for creating. Photography and skating are both really accessible. I am also super big on nostalgia, which is attainable through a trifecta of skating, fashion and film photography because they are all a performance in a sense. I take photos for myself, but you are constantly thinking about how you will be perceived by others or how many likes you’ll get. I’m aware of the likes still, it still bothers me, it (instagrams decision to not show likes) didn’t work, I still check them. 

How do you present your documentary work at uni, is it similar to what you present for assessment? 

Yeah to an extent, I mean there are some differences. My uni studies have allowed me to evolve the expression of photography, like a zine for example that I made last semester. In designing that I was thinking about my space, and how these walls speak. I feel like you can pursue the same sort of topics in an educational context but just elaborate beyond being purely documentary. There’s always creative thoughts that play in my work, but the concept itself is the documentation of one thing, the subject may change but I find it most engaging to capture a lot of one thing and collate that into one space.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: