Siobhan Mlacak

Photographer / Photographe

Biography


Originally from Canada, I have now been living for more than 20 years in Paris, France. I can best describe my photography as a study of lines, shapes and textures as they are found, uninterrupted, portraying a variety of social contexts and human behaviours.

Working in black and white provides me with the most direct means of conveying form and subject through images. The basics of photography and darkroom technique are the foundation of this creative process and I have, even in this age of digital prints and computer-generated images, invested in building on this foundation. I am most drawn to capturing objects and places as they are, without interference, or manipulation. I respect the edges and four corners of my frame, unwilling to crop any images. I do all my own printing.

Photographers of the first half of the last century, such as Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange, have inspired me through their social consciousness and ability to influence public awareness. I have also been greatly influenced by the images of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Brassaï for their ability to capture the details of daily Parisian life.

I am intrigued by the passage of time, by things left behind and by the movement of people. Someone was here before me… who were they? I am more interested in the moment than in the whole story.

Travel is a continuous source of inspiration and creative renewal. In June 2000 I documented my origins in Croatia, where my paternal grandparents came from and have subsequently returned twice to the Balkans to document the after effects of war. In February 2001 I went to Poland where I spent three days at the Concentration Camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau. Although I am not the only one to document the atrocities of war, even 50 years after the fact, it was important for me to add my own statement.

I continue to work on the theme ‘Autour d’un café’ shooting cafés and terraces wherever I go.