Interview: Adriana Roos – Photographer

Tell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
My name is Adriana Roos and I am a 31­ year old South African. I studied languages and journalism at University, and after graduation I set out on an adventure. I spent two years living in the UK, followed by 2 years in Mexico. In these four years I observed and learned, and only really picked up my camera at the end of my time in Mexico when I was accepted to participate in a residency for 10 Emerging Photographers at a leading Art School(AAVI) in Mexico City. This really kickstarted my critical thinking around photography, the creating and recreating of stories.

Photograph by Adriana RoosPhotograph by Adriana RoosPhotograph by Adriana RoosPhotograph by Adriana RoosHow did you get started doing what you do?
Curiosity in general.

Years ago I lived next door to a German artist. She had wild red hair and always invited me to the exhibitions at her house. She knew I had a love for photography and introduced me to the artists as a photographer, even before I ever owned a camera! When I finished high school I moved to a whole new area in South Africa, bought a Nikon FM and started teaching myself through an online course and endless wanderings through my house and neighborhood. At university I got the opportunity to study photography professionally.

Photograph by Adriana RoosPhotograph by Adriana RoosWhat’s your inspiration?
Stories, and tension in life.

How do you keep motivated?
Sometimes I’m not motivated at all, and months go past when I don’t pick up my camera! I’m still trying to work out how to stay motivated. I’m great with coming up with endless ideas and writing them in a little notebook, sometimes they just stay there. I guess I want more time, better equipment and someone to sponsor me financially. That sounds like a dream, but I realize thatI just need to work with what I have, and make things happen.

Photograph by Adriana RoosWhat do you hope to accomplish with your work?
I’m deeply convinced that there’s a narrative running through our lives, and that a part of this narrative often gets overlooked, denied, not told. I seek to tell alternative stories in order to provoke questions and inspire wonder.

What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
Don’t be afraid, risk more!

Photograph by Adriana Roos Photograph by Adriana RoosWhat’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Work with your questions. Find out what you wrestle with, and use that in the process. Never give up.

Any other artists that you would like to recommend for others to check out as well?
Yvonne Venegas and Joan Fontcuberta

I studied under both these artists and learned so much from them.

And also my friend Mareli.

Follow Adriana Roos on Instagram and Twitter!



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