In viewing Annamária's work over the past year there is a plan in play. I can't fully articulate it yet but I'm following a bread-crumb trail of clues she's leaving behind. For starters the work consistently displays an inherent ease of moving in, around, over and under the edges of both classic and contemporary photography. In the current VSonoma exhibit she masterfully blends both — a captivating and highly singular study clearly backed by considerable creative finess. In short, an exhibit built around mood, light, composition and personal journeys down the streets of Hungary. One I'm sure will entice you to "Watch the Shadows'
— Mark Wegner
An interview with Annamária Pátkai follows the exhibit images.
VSonoma: Welcome Annamária and could you tell us a little about yourself?
Annamária: My professional name is Annamária Pátkai - AWA Artless. Together with my creative partner we fabricated the AWA portion feeling that an artist can benefit from an additional aliased descriptor. We liked the name addition because the AWA perfectly symbolizes the symmetry and geometrical forms I so enjoy. The 'artless part' playfully references my lack of understanding of the technical side of photography. Yes, it’s true. I work from feelings and instincts rather than technical applications and rules.
I live and create in the same house where I was born. The home of my grandparents in Hungary between two rivers — the Danube and the Tisza. It’s a quiet, uneventful neighborhood in the suburb of a country town where creativity has both its advantages and disadvantages.
VSonoma: How did you initially get interested in Photography?
Annamária: From my early childhood I've been creating. For me it’s an on-going force and I've always been driven by a curiosity to question things, to change, to create something new, something extraordinary...something else. Mostly from ordinary things that separate myself from normal routines. In the background of all this was the need to search for my own identity and to express myself. For me, and it’s true now too, what has changed? Fortunately everything! Mostly from the tools I used. I was drawing, painting, writing poems, sewing, and knitting. I was a craftsman. Currently its only been three years since I began expressing myself through photography. In connection with this, I’ve been learning everything on my own, by self-education and by practicing. It has required a large amount of time and energy, so I’m very proud of all my pictures which I'm now showing to the viewers of this gallery.
VSonoma: ...and when did you get serious about it?
Annamária: Photography has given me so much. I’ve learned to see, to notice and everyday it seems I encounter more and receive photographic gifts such as the 'Watch the Shadows' show here at VSonoma.
Nevertheless, the process of creating my favorite images is what I refer to as the 'afterwork'. Post-production is the world of unlimited opportunities for creation. The methods of photo editing, the filters and the out-of-the-ordinary combination of effects are a real pleasure for me. I use professional photo editing programs and I test everything often experiencing things that I find can also be achieved through simple, free applications. Occassionally these are ones that at times work better than the classic, more expensive ones.
I work with passion and enthusiasm or at times simply experiment. I can work on a basic picture for days, sometimes even for weeks or longer. When it’s finished it’s like a thunderbolt, a real catharsis.
VSonoma: What are your favorite subjects or areas of interest?
Annamária: I’m sure all the creative art I've seen has had some effect on me, but honestly it's my own images that continue to inspire me. From some of my older photos made in the very beginning, I'll often pull them back out to create something new from them. This review of this older work can often result in new unique works. Retrospectively I can’t remember why I revamped an old image in a certain way or had the endurance, audacity and ideas for it. However I always feel in these cases I received a blessing for my persistance.
Without formal training, outside tutoring or a technical background, I had to discover things by myself. This 'creative excercise' led me to find or make my way to a place where I created something from nothing. So, from nothing, my creativity gave life to 'Awaism', which comes from the AWA alias. It’s a new art tendency where a basic principle is as I said 'something from nothing'. In my own way I’m the sole representative of it within my work.
In conclusion what would be my advice in connecting with creativity? Think, make and don’t be afraid of failing!
VSonoma: Thank you Annamária for this interview and for exhibiting your wonderful images at VSonoma.
To view more of Annamária's work, visit her on Facebook.
All images © Annamária Pátkai 2017