Thursday, October 2, 2008

Close Up: Julie Shiel of Forgotten Beauty

Take a peek into the world of Forgotten Beauty...

Michelle: Who are you and where are you?

Julie Shiel: My name is Julie Shiel (aka Etsy seller xenya) and I live in Maryland. I'm a published writer and have two collections of my poetry released, but my recent focus has been on my photography.

M: What inspires you?

JS: Abandoned places and things! Urban Exploration is probably my favorite thing to do. I love to research and explore all these old places that have been forgotten. Many of them have a long and interesting history but they are being forgotten. I try to document these places as well as I can before they get torn down to make way for strip malls and developments. There is a lot of beauty in decay. I love to see nature taking these places over, and some of the things left behind are just amazing.

M: How much time do you currently spend on your photography?

JS: Not as much as I'd like! Abandoned hospitals and the like aren't exactly littering up the landscape around me, so I have to travel a bit to find them. It can also be quite dangerous. I'm disabled so I have to do it when I'm having a good period. Recently I've been photographing things closer to home, but I'm really looking forward to my next exploration trip.

M: Can you show us one of your favorite images and tell us why it is so special to you?

JS: I had a really hard time picking one for this! I decided on "What Lies Beneath" (above). It was taken in the tunnels below an abandoned state school and hospital. I love the triangles of light coming through the exits against the black of the tunnel. It illuminates the decay and has a sort of soft feel - all that crumbled dust from the walls and ceiling. It shows the walls and ceiling peeling with bits of color here and there from what's left of the paint. You can see where this section of the tunnel ends and continues to the left and right, so it hints at what else is under there. I think people respond to it emotionally, which is what I try for.

M: What equipment do you use?

JS: I use both digital and film cameras. Neither is high end. They are both point and shoot Canon cameras, which is frustrating because there is only so much I can do with them. I hope to get a SLR eventually!

M: Do you print yourself or do you have a lab do it?

JS: I have my photos printed at a lab. I'm trying out a new lab now and just signed up with White House.

M: Aside from your Etsy shop, is there anywhere else we can find you?

JS: You can find me on Trunkt, MySpace (sorely out of date), Indiepublic and Dawanda.

Thank you Julie!

Michelle from Montage Studio is a photographer and mixed-media artist whose work has been exhibited internationally. She is a proud POE member. You can view her work at her Etsy shop and also see her on her blog.


Joanna's Photography said...

Great interview!
Julie, thank you for sharing a little bit about your photography!
Your work is amazing.

allieart4children said...

Wonderfully interesting interview with one of my favorites! Thank you, Julie and Michelle!

Judi FitzPatrick said...

Great interview. Thank you Julie for letting us know more about you and your wonderful photographic work. Thanks Michelle for writing this post.

Ann Wilkinson said...

I have admired Julie's work here on Etsy, and it is really great to get to know the eye behind the lens. Thank you for this, Michelle!

Julie said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful feature and comments!

spearvahn said...

Such a unique perspective! I am always fascinated by Julie's photos!

Baobab Love

marianne said...

WOnderful views and interview! I feel at home as I am a vintage photo person and love that there are others that are so involved in the same genre. This is a wonderful grouping of photos and its so nice to read the comments from Julie. I have a new blog with lots of info on this subject and alternative photography. I am soon to be a part of the photographers group on etsy... waiting time ya know and cannot wait to be full fledged. Here is the blog link
and also if interested in my vintage photos please stop in to the store... so happy to be here! Keep up the good interviews I love it! Marianne