We had the good fortune of connecting with Ilsa Wynne-Hoelscher Kidd and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ilsa, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I have a love/hate relationship with risk taking, but somehow have consistently been drawn to taking risks in life and work. This has likely stemmed from my childhood being raised by two fascinating and inspiring people who constantly took risks. Despite the challenges that can come with risk taking, I firmly believe they are worth it as they offer opportunity for growth and new directions. Ultimately when taking that dive, you must have self belief and determination – the driving force to surrender, absorb, evolve. I’ve never been much of a routine lover, or a forward planner (I only look maybe a few years ahead in very loose terms). I have desires and goals but don’t live to a rigid plan. I try to stay open and allow organic growth – personally and professionally. This isn’t the right fit, right method, for all, but it tends to be the way I live life at my best. I don’t think I would be making much progress if it wasn’t for throwing myself in the ring and believing in the desired outcome.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I work in photography and filmmaking. My love of the analogue format is probably what I am most excited about within my practice. I work across both digital and analogue formats, but find my expression is best articulated and “seen” when I’m shooting with film (photography and motion). I’d love to develop my style within the format further and offer a greater range aesthetically across various kits and approaches. Ideally, I’d love to work commercially with full creative licence, delivering narrative-rich visuals that have a distinctive style and voice. I also love to work on personal projects, again work that lies within deeper narratives across concept, art, documentary and portraiture. I am so inspired by tactile environments, practices and collaborative efforts. I can’t get past printed executions, and would love to work more in this direction having more considered and deliberate print executions around my work. Now that our lockdowns are a thing of the past, I’d also like to get my work in front of live audiences, allowing that immersive, sensory based digestion of visual content to be a regular experience again.
I’m currently working quite a lot in commercial work and other commissions, which is a result of hard work and drive to find an audience and clientele within the space. I taught myself technical skills by forcing myself into new environments where I had to learn by doing. This is challenging in itself but the best way I learn. I always believe where there is a will, there is a way, but it requires a lot of patience, trying, and self-belief. Hard work never dissipates, as new goals replace old goals and so it goes on. I don’t think this type of work, and industry, will ever become smooth and steady – I think that’s part of the thrill, a part of the appeal for me.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Melbourne is a great city, one of the best in the world! It’s vibrant and daring, diverse and robust. The top picks would always be the usual hot spots- NGV, MGA, ACMI and HEIDE MoMA. Perimeter Books is a cosy but vast bookstore where I spend too much money, and I highly recommend spending loads of time there too. A mid week meal go-to would be 1800-Lasagne, a quaint and understated but uber cool and delicious Italian taverna and bar. Visit as many laneways and galleries, big and small, as much as one can. Tastebuds have always been hooked on Chin Chin, an old favourite. E.g.etal jewellery gallery is full of precious jewels and objects by very clever local designers. If you have young little friends in tow like I usually do, I like to take my kids to the Museum, Collingwood Children’s Farm/Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne Zoo and out to the regions for some wide open spaces (Daylesford, Woodend, Castlemaine and down the Peninsular) – all great without kids too! For my favourite window shopping and coffee, I love Gertrude Street, Fitzroy and High Street, Northcote. Always a fan of Brunswick, a diverse and green community – the reason it’s where I currently live.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m fortunate to come from a very supportive family, who have always cheered me on and offer me honest feedback. My partner has been crucial in the growth of my career, gifting me time when I’ve needed it and sacrificing a lot along the way. I’ve also had numerous peers and organisations over the years encourage me and recognise my work, and this has been incredibly beneficial for so many reasons. A special acknowledgement to Photo Collective Australia, an organisation that has offered ongoing support and opportunities, for which I’m so deeply grateful.
All photography by Ilsa Wynne-Hoelscher Kidd, copyright 2022 (folio content).