"My work exposes everyday moments that I think many people experience. I like to bring these intimate or banal moments to attention by refraining from actually saying anything, and showing them on their own."
Unseen Platform: Looking at your work, it almost seems as if you’re revealing the most intimate parts of your diary. In what terms do you think of your work?
Juliette Blightman: As much as my work is intimate, I don’t see the work as confessional. It’s radically subjective, and I see it as a document of life, my life. I grew up in a very transparent environment; having shared a room throughout my childhood, I had no space of my own. Siblings, friends and parents would walk in and out as they pleased; we hid nothing from each other. My work exposes everyday moments that I think many people experience. I like to bring these intimate or banal moments to attention by refraining from actually saying anything, and showing them on their own. It’s also a way for me to play with time, and try to stop it.
The intimacy and private nature of your work leads to a lot of awkwardness I imagine...
I want it to be awkward. There’s something about awkwardness that I like very much. As a teenager, I would watch bands play and felt less awkward when I was taking pictures. I still follow that instinct today, taking photographs of the people and things around me to feel more comfortable. It’s something I’ve experienced a lot, and I’ve learnt not to react to it negatively. I enjoy feeling awkward; it helps me see things clearly again.
You usually present your drawings, paintings, films and images alongside one another, but your latest presentation comprises only photographic works. What do you find so appealing about photography?
When I look at the photograph, I see many things; there’s the clarity and composition of the image – but it’s also a document of a particular time, moment and place. As I’m taking a picture, I also see the things that aren’t included in the frame. It’s these things we don’t see that I’m interested in; the clothes, the details of the car model, the signposts, the plants. They all reference specific times, but once the photograph is placed in the right context – let’s say that of an exhibition – the image has another chance to become timeless.