The Emotion of Jahsharn
The Emotion of Jahsharn by Anna Cox
My soul is overwhelmed by so many emotions.
Yet my eyes have mastered the art of concealment.
My mind relives the pain that consumed me as I heard those words.
Yet my voice is as calm as the sea breeze through your window.
Tears overflow within me, drowning all that should be said, questions that cannot be answered.
Yet I stare clearly into your eyes, revealing my false strength.
You lay there, no longer strong. Your voice is silent, your humour is gone. I hold your hand that cannot hold mine, even my kiss is lost to you.
Yet my arms reach out to embrace the memory of you, while my heart cries out to a reality that is cruel and unforgiving.
Slowly you are fading…….
I came across Paula Gardener (Jahsharn) while working on a showcase and was immediatly drawn to her portraits. Each held such depth that they the drew me in to wanting to know more. The raw emotions caputred in the eyes of the subject is what was so moving. Portraiture is hard to begin with but Paula seems to capture an array of emotion flawlessly. Paired with her beautiful writing, these portraits are heart wrenching. Grab some coffee and come sit down with Paula and I as we explore her influences and craft more in depth.
A: Anna P: Paula
A: Give me a sneak peak into who you are away from the camera.
P: I am a wife, a mother of four and a child of the universe. I own a small photography business by which my preferred specialism is portraiture. Alongside my photography I love to express myself through creative writing, I currently have a blog that fulfils that compelling desire to write. Usually I compose a piece poetic literature to accompany my work.
My foundation is very earthly, I try to give back to the earth as much I take out. So through this consciousness my family and I have embarked on Urban Farming. We have two plots of land where we grow organic vegetables, while teaching our children about the values of sowing and harvesting. I also work a few days with the London Ambulance Service, at their HQ in London.
If I Could Forget
A: How did you mobile photography journey begin? How has it changed your craft?
P: During the latter part of 2011, I happened upon a blog on iPhone photography apps, I was amazed at the photographic examples given for the applications. Well every creative bone inside me could not wait to buy my first app called Hipstamatic. Like hundreds before me I was hooked! However, I’m a self confessed control freak when it comes to lighting and composition. After awhile the constraints within the Hipstamatic’s filters and square format stifled me. With this said I embarked on finding the apps that would complement my style and help me evolve creatively. My art is my life! I wrote once before that through mobile photography my interpretation of life has been revolutionised. I am like a child at times, (which is great since I’m forty). I just can’t stop downloading every visual aspect of my surroundings and transposing it into my mental creative log. This is only possible with the iPhone. I can capture my children playing, someone walking, a reflection of myself, nothing I see is ever missed. Life for me is an evolving journey of the choices we make, Art for me is a visual interpration of those choices, captured in a moment of clarity.
A: Your portraits are amazing. Each one conveys such raw emotion. I am blown away by the depth of each one of them.
P: Portrait photography for me is a relationship that needs to be nurtured from the soul! Every portrait I have taken whether it be of myself, family or friends, was composed from an emotion so deep it was spiritual. I know to some of you reading this, it might sound a bit far fetched. However I can’t just take a photograph of someone and say look here or smile there. I need to feel that connection that makes me scream Yes! That’s the shot! If I’m experiencing those emotion while capturing the portrait, hopefully the viewer will relive that moment too.
Light and negative space plays a fundamental part in my work, when I photograph someone I’m capturing the semblance of that individual. I’m trying to replicate that spiritual sense I’m feeling from them into an image. So if the light is to harsh or soft, whether there is too much negative space or colour is very important. There has been situations where the light has been less than perfect or the space was inadequate. That’s when apps like Snapseed, ScratchCam and Camera Awesome become invaluable.
A: Tell me about a series that is close to your heart.
P: The series that is closest to my heart is the one I did on the human emotion. During the time of this series a close family member was diagnosed with brain cancer. There was nothing that could be done, all we can do is be there for them until the end. The emotions that ran through my family and I were immense and at times uncontrollable. I suppose doing this series was my way of understanding my own emotions as raw as they were.
A: How does your life influence your art?
P: The core foundation of my creativity is my life, I’m driven by my wonderful family. My typical evening is spent writing songs with my children as my husband plays the guitar, just watching them is an inspiration overload. I am constantly amazed by my friends on iPhoneArt and Flickr, Wow! They truly inspire me to a new level! Life pushes me everyday to create, I suppose it’s my way of giving back the beauty I’ve been privileged to see.
If you intersted in delving more into Paula’s portaits go here.
To read more of Paula’s writing: