Interview with Davin Risk for Making Room Magazine (2006)

1. Many of your photos seem to be in part an expression of solitude and private spaces. Is this a consistent approach for you?

Expressions of solitude and private spaces are certainly not something I consciously seek out, however on some level I am drawn to the safety these spaces seem to provide. The private spaces are all either places that I've glimpsed in passing and personally longed for....

2. You pay a lot of attention to subtleties of light and shadow in your interiors especially. While capturing light is an inherent part of photography, what role do you think light and shadow plays for you?

Light and shadow are instrumental for creating depth in the interior spaces however when I approach an interior there is never any separation in the subject matter and the lighting in the setting, if I am attracted to the space I'll try to capture the scene with my camera and

3. In your images of people, there is often a certain amount of tension between the subject and the photographer/viewer. Is this an extension of the notion of private spaces? As if the intrusion is being discovered?

I find that the closer my personal relationship is to the subject, the more I seek to unravel them before the lens. For example I'll sit and only observe them through my lens until an awkward silence ensues, watching their moods, expressions, and body language shift and they tire of waiting for me to take the picture. They become raw, tender, vulnerable, and it is precisely then that I release the shutter. It also helps that I have a penchant for seeking out subjects that dislike being photographed.

4. You say on your site, "Even the simple and mundane should be celebrated." Can you talk about this further? Was the process of trying to photograph those simple moments and spaces intuitive?

One day my grandmother spotted me photographing a dilapidated house next to her property and she asked me why on earth I liked photographing such dirty, old and ugly things, and then suggested that I photograph the perfectly manicured flower bed behind me instead. I think it was then that those words first fell from my lips.

We all have our personal definition of what beauty is, and then we have societies definition of what beauty is. That dilapidated house used to be clean and white and cared for when I was a little girl, and not even 20 years later it sits sinking back into the earth and decaying/forgotten, and this forced my imagination to fill in that gap of time and how it sought this fate, and then this story unfolded and arrested me, forcing me to take a portrait of what...

5. What role does nature play for you?

When nature begins to devour and reclaim what man has taken and made from it and then disposed and forgot it, I am fascinated by it because nature will always prevail in my mind.