Sexuality is just another way to connect minds – photographer and mixed media artist extraordinaire Stuart Sandford knows exactly what he wants from his creations. Although he works across very different mediums, his pieces – let them be sculptures or Polaroid-dreams – remain interconnected, parts of a whole. Inspired and filled with love, Stuart’s art is undoubtedly the kind of content that we just love coming back to.
In conversation with Container Love, one of our favorite british artists told us about the risks of opening up to strangers, his new photo book THE BEST WAY TO LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE IS IN BED and all those moments in life when the best thing one can do is to put down the camera.
You’re working across very different mediums. What does photography give you, that you can’t find elsewhere?
It gives me a very intimate connection with my subject as I use a small scale point and shoot 35 mm camera, as well as immediacy, especially with my Polaroids.
What is your earliest memory involving photography?
Probably being photographed on holiday with my brother, Paul when we were like six or seven. He had a little monkey on his shoulder and he was a bit scared of it, I was just having a good time.
What’s your favorite interpretation of the title of your new photo book, THE BEST WAY TO LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE IS IN BED?
Oh, so there are many scientific studies concerning learning a foreign language whilst sleeping. Fascinating right? Well, that’s one interpretation anyway.
What is your definition of erotic?
Something that ignites both your brain and your dick.
When you meet someone new, what’s the first detail that you observe?
The face and the eyes.
In order to love others, one has to learn how to love oneself. How would you describe your relationship with yourself?
Well, I wouldn’t say I love myself but I’m working on it.
What sort of impact does your work have on your personal life and relationships?
Good question. I mean, I am currently single…
What kind of role does improvisation play in the creation of your artworks?
I’m absolutely open to it.
How would you describe the working process behind your photos?
There’s always a plan of what I want when I’m working with a subject, specific shots and locations, but I’m always open to interpretation and I see my shoots as collaborative between myself and the subject.
How easy is it for you to make people open up for you even if they don’t know you well yet?
I’ve never really had a problem with that. I seem to be able to make people feel at ease, which is weird because I’ve always considered myself quite shy, especially with people I don’t know well. Either I’m just very good at hiding it or somehow they can see that I’m also feeling uncomfortable and that makes it easier for them.
Can the same thing happen to you as well?
In your opinion, what is the most difficult part of capturing intimate moments?
Sometimes it’s more fun to just enjoy the intimate moments and put the camera down.
When it comes to your photography, what makes a perfect moment for you?
When both the person in front of the camera and the person behind it are in total sync and completely understand what’s trying to be achieved. It doesn’t always happen but when it does it feels like some kind of magic moment.
What do you do when you feel like the ideas just aren’t coming?
I usually stop and do something else, but that doesn’t happen often.
Your art is filled with love. How do you handle the lack of it?
I make art.
How can one get inspiration out of lovesickness?
“Contentment is the enemy of invention.”
Is art capable of the demystification of love?
It can definitely try.
Photos © Stuart Sandford