Photographer Amber-Jayne Bain beautifully captures the skill, intensity and physicality of an artisan craftsman at work.
Mum and Dad were hippies, with no money but plenty of cool. Our very old house was a playground for the shifting sands of my mum’s style. With the turning of the seasons, she would completely rearrange the furniture in several rooms of the house. Every time she did it, we would feel that this new version of home was so much more spacious, so much better than before. She would move the pictures, put on a different table cloth, shift the pot-plants, and pick flowers from the garden. The unveiling, often when we came home from school, was wondrous. Old things made to feel new. The ordinary made so special. She taught us to appreciate beauty.
I think my grasp of the technical comes from Dad though. He’s a builder, he’s really great at problem solving and at understanding the ‘why’ of how something works. That’s how I operate photographically. Nothing is random with the way I use light and the choices I make with my camera.
So, fast forward through a childhood full of art, and a degree in Art History (that I do not regret, but have used less than I would wish), and some time teaching and shooting. I now live in Wellington with my husband and sons. I move the furniture around in our own house now, making the ordinary seem special, the old feel new.
My passion for shadow and light, and expression and space has grown and tilted, and I love nothing more than the delicious pleasure of making images that get you to feel something. I will not be tied to a singular genre – rather, my work is about a way of seeing, of telling the truth, or at least a version of it.