Brief interview to accompany a feature on my work with Tessa Kuragi on Nick Knights ShowStudio.

Tell me - do you see your films as erotic films or as something else?

I first began working within the artistic nude genre before my work developed it's own concerns, so whilst calling my films erotic might be uncomfortably stretching the term, it is probably something it would be easiest to categorise my output as.

I will certainly often employ erotic tropes and cliches in what I do, subverting and occasionally ridiculing them as I go.

How did you first start filmmaking - was Tessa the inspiration or catalyst?

Filmmaking became an option for me as an extension of my photography, a means to experiment, push myself into a new direction and find a new platform to explore my ideas. My images had at that stage grown quite narrative in their delivery, so the ability to expand upon the punchline nature of some of my work was very appealing

I had photographed Tessa many times before I began working with short films and she appeared briefly in my first short "A Special Form of Denial". We had discussed working on a collaborative project together for sometime before the filming of "Adoration", which was shot whilst we were in a relationship. This led to the intimate nature of that piece which had originally been intended as a personal project, though after much discussion we decided to release the film to the public.

You use lots of different models - what do you look for?

It's hard to pinpoint what appeals to me in a potential model. I enjoy the diversity of shooting with different people and the different directions this can lead me in and I can be very specific about who appears in which project. I still work as a photographer and often a photoshoot can serve as a mini-audition to find people to work with on a short film.

Why the focus on black and white?

I'm self taught and started out printing and developing my own black and white prints in makeshift crawlspace darkrooms. The style stuck and I continued along this path, creating what I like to think of as a consistent universe for my work to inhabit.

What would you say your films are about?

Some of them might be an abstract exploration of an erotic act, others might have a more focused concern - albeit drenched in my somewhat awkward imagery. I am yet to shoot a film with anything that could be considered a standard narrative and am happy to leave my work open to the viewers interpretation. It’s always interesting to hear what people are taking away from what I do.

Which filmmakers inspire you?

If I said I had never seen Un Chien Andalou, I doubt anyone would believe me.

Bergman and Wakamatsu are huge inspirations and the scope of Greenaway’s work will always floor me. Though as my films are largely an evolution of my photographic endeavours then the photographers and artists who I personally enjoy, Nobuyoshi Araki, Francesca Woodman and Hans Bellmer at al are probably more directly inspiring for me.