An Interview With: Natacha Lacey

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I've been interested in photography since I started high school, and always thought I would be working within fashion and portraiture. Somehow that completely flipped upside down and I'm now engrossed within my documentary practice. I've always found it difficult to show my work to other people, but by photographing subject matters which I am passionate about has helped me to become just as passionate about sharing my images.

Can we have a short description of your work?

All of my work is focused on presenting to viewers how I sees the world around me. I am driven by my commitment to seeking an authentic representation of the circus, the close knit community in which I live and work. With a casual approach to shooting I am able to photograph the subjects candidly, capturing the quietness of each moment. For my graduation piece I put my images together in a hand bound book which echoed the close personal attachment I have to my subject.

How do you think working in a Cirus has affected your view on the subject matter? And how/could an outsider do the same?

It has definitely had a positive affect on my view, I have learnt so much about the magical history of the building itself as well as circus culture. Over the last seven years I have met some incredible people, who have become a huge family network. Recently I have been experimenting with crossing the line of being an insider and an outsider, shooting at other circus with which I have links but don't know everyone within. I found having that one link continued on with instant acceptance and trust. Through this I came to understand just how privileged my position is, and know an outsider would struggle to not only gain access but be able to shoot the subjects so candidly.

What inspires your work?

The people I have met who over time have become my best friends and my family. My boyfriend who's love and passion for his families circus has embedded itself in me even more than before. And the hope that I can share the joy that circus gives me with outsiders who would otherwise never know what it is like behind the face of circus.

Why colour?

I have always been drawn towards colour in images and I found it the best way to arrange and organise my images for my book and exhibitions. My subjects and environments are always full of bold colours, props, lights and costumes all fill my world with colour. I believe it is important for my work to shoot in colour, as I am attempting to show what I see to others, in every way.

Why did you choose this arrangement for your installation?

I struggled for a while with a more rigid layout for my exhibition images. Throughout my project I was keen to communicate how everyday and regular this environment is for myself, so structuring the images felt like I was contradicting my connection with the subjects. Any large spaces between images disconnected them from each other so I decided to place them irregularly but close together. Creating what feels like more of an overview of the project but enabling the audience to focus in on each image itself.

What is the best piece of advice you could give the viewers of The Pupil Sphere?

Whenever you are lost, do what you know. I spent so long fudging my way through university, until I realised my subject was under my nose all along. and never stop shooting, ever.


All images copyright of Natacha Lacey