Pin It

Christina Kernohan: Gammel Butikken

The LuckyMe Collective photographer presents her new solo exhibition of Norwegian solace.

Christina Kernohan’s “Gammel Butikken” ventures deep to the Norweigan Arctic Circle exploring a remote and solitary old store, once the epicentre of daily life, now left untouched. Undeterred by Norway’s fast fading light and below freezing temperatures, Christina returned to work in Scotland on the cover shoot of the forthcoming Mary Anne Hobbs “Wild Angels” album (“I was looking for some primal, sensual, highly elusive ‘other’ imagery,” says MAH) - collaboration with her fellow LuckyMe art collective. The striking Guardian and Dazed featured photographer talks us through her inspirations. 

Dazed Digital: What was the first photo you took?
Christina Kernohan: I grew up in rural Northern Ireland photographing flowers in the garden with my Dad’s Pentax and macro lens. I was probably seven or eight and I definitely dropped it, several times. It still works Dad…promise.

DD: What was the last photo you took?
Christina Kernohan: The girls walking through fog, barefoot at 5am a few nights ago in Edinburgh’s New Town.

DD: When did you decide that photography was what you wanted to do?
Christina Kernohan: I don’t know that I did. I’ve always thought visually and usually in final outcomes. Every creative brief I encountered I could express myself better photographically than not. The feeling of getting ‘that’ shot is incredible sometimes you just know that that’s the one. I can lose hours with a camera in my hand – it’s when I’m happiest. I also briefly thought about graphic design, but all that talk of kerning and alignment, point size and serifs made me think otherwise. I instead decided to spend my adult life complaining about colour casts and talking in focal lengths!

DD: Which photographers inspire you and why?
Christina Kernohan: Alec Soth, everything about it, B+, the work of Oliver Chanarin and Adam Broomberg, Robert Polidori’s work in terms of subject matter and colour, Julian Germain’s sensitivity and Juergan Teller’s personal work, to name a few.

DD: Where in the world inspires you?
Christina Kernohan: Outside my front door in Scotland, back home in Ireland. I take pleasure in noticing something ‘special’ in the everyday. Being on the top of a mountain under an endless starry sky, specifically in Malawi, Africa. Swimming in freezing crystal blue water in the Norwegian Arctic Circle. I went to Norway twice in three months - 24 hour daylight the first trip and four hours daylight and Northern Lights the second. I shot my Gammel Butikken (Old Store) series that I’m currently exhibiting on the last trip.

DD: Can you talk about visuals for the Mary Anne Hobbs cover?
Christina Kernohan: Mary Anne came to LuckyMe Collective wanting a dark, other-worldly feel to her cover and the with the title “Wild Angels”. She had lots of ideas, ergo it was not a short process. The shoot took place in what felt like gale force winds in a forest in the north of Scotland. It was cold and dark and lights were flying everywhere. Did I mention it was raining? (Not so LuckyUs, ahem.) But everyone got stuck in and we got great results.

DD: What’s your most commonly used set up?
Christina Kernohan: Generally I shoot digitally using a Canon 5D and if I need flash I use a portable studio set up. I prefer to shoot analogue, however budgets don’t always allow. When I can I use my beloved ‘Hasselhoff’ (Hasselblad 500C/M). Bought from eBay whilst I was a student it has been dropped on mud hut floors in Africa and shot in steam filled wet rooms and still works perfectly. It’s this cameras fault I think in squares.

DD: How would you describe your style?
Christina Kernohan: I photograph in a way that seems natural to me. Where possible I use available light and for my personal work I don’t set anything up. I shoot what is there as I see it. I’m drawn to the disused and crumbling. I like nothing more than four minute exposures of peeling paint and mouldy anaglypta. I’m sure it’s not good for my lungs.

Christina Kernohan solo exhibition
Gammel Butikken (Old Store)
6th August - 6th October
The Saint
44 St Stephen St