Work by Nanó Wallenius

Nanó Wallenius (1990, Finland) lives and works in Antwerp since five years back and recently graduated with a master degree from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Her installation "Only Last Spring I Started Wearing Pink" is presented in the BredaPhoto festival 2016.



How did you get into photography? Are you self-trained or did you study? 

I recently graduated in fine arts, but I think most artists, inlcuding myself, are self-trained to a certain extent. I like to think that I stuck to my own ideas and ideals while I got great support from my studies.

What are you looking for when you step out into the day or night with your camera?

I used to love to collect old items and my apartment used to look like a real flea market back in the days. However, I think photography replaced that part of me - I like to think that I'm collecting moments or objects as I photograph something. In a way I'm always looking for things to add to my "collection".

Do you impose any technical limits when you’re taking photographs? For example, do you shoot in a special format, or limit yourself to black and white, or colour? Why?

I usually work with a Mamiya 7 on Kodak Portra low-grain color film. I like to actually see and touch my photographs physically and I don't feel so safe storing them digitally. However, I shoot digitally in the night to get a better quality.

Are your photographs shot in an instant or slowly composed? 

I'm not very slow as a person, but as a photographer, I need more time. I like to take my time when I photograph.

How has new technology affected the way you work?

Not in any other way than the possibility of digital storage. I'm not so fascinated by new technology.


What is distinctive about your approach? What is the link/theme between your photographs? 

I like to think that my photographs show that I'm a curious person.

Are you more drawn to interior or exterior spaces? Why?

I'm definitely more drawn to interior spaces but I also enjoy photographing outside during night time. I like interior spaces because is feels like they are more personal. 

Please describe where you live. What inspires you visually about the place?  

I live in a small apartment on the top floor of an old building in Antwerpen Berchem. There is always sunlight in my living room and I have too many plants. Being at home inspires me to work since half of my apartment is my office and I've decorated it in a way that is not so busy. I like to keep things clean around me if I have to focus.


Have you received any awards for your work? 

When I graduated I received the photography department's prize.

Have you had any major influences in developing your photographic style? What other artists (visual or otherwise) and photographers have inspired you?

I love Rineke Dijkstra and how minimalist she can be with her usage of colours. I'm also intrigued by the work of Wolfgang Tillmans and Alec Soth.

Are there any websites/magazines that you look at for inspiration? Do you visit galleries – if so, which ones and why? 

Every once in a while I go to to have a look and my favorite photography magazine is FOAM magazine. I also regularly visit galleries in Antwerp or wherever I am. Two good ones in Antwerp are Stieglitz19 and Stilll Gallery.

Do you ever work together with a writer on special projects? 

I actually am a writer myself as well. I sometimes combine text and photography in my work. As an example, in my "Dress For Success/Take It Like a Man" installation I include a letter and an audio file of myself reading one of my texts.

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