Growing up, I had always admired the mysterious nature of photographs and the message they were trying to transmit. The more I dedicated my time to interpreting and producing art, the more I learned to appreciate the subject and admire those who were fully committed to it. Art is everywhere, but there is something unique about upcoming artist and most often than not, they are not given the recognition they deserve. It was during extensive hours scrolling through the Internet that I came across a passionate student who later I had the honor of interviewing. Moreso, I introduce you to Ninna Pennick: a 20-year-old scottish artist and fine arts photography major at the University of the Arts London (UAL).
Photography is what I love to do. It’s how I like to portray art even though what I usually do involves other media and an aspect of performance art.
What inspires you to initiate each project?
My inspiration is usually something I feel. For all my artworks (except slut shaming), it’s really personal and some come from quite dark places, usually related to struggle and pain. [As for] Slut Shaming, it is still personal but it’s open for everyone because it deals with the positive and negative aspects we all go through towards pleasure – so it’s also universal. [But] if I’m ever really stuck for inspiration or can’t quite figure out what I want to do I usually lie on the floor, close my eyes and put some music on really loud.
What goes on behind the making of your projects?
It is usually whatever moment I’m going through. I’ll figure out what colours, forms and photography represents best what I’m feeling [and] how I can put it all together. It’s a very therapeutic process. I tend to go into a state that isn’t what I am day to day.
Do you have people that usually help you out?
Usually no one helps me because I’m stubborn and I need to be alone. But for Slut Shaming, as it was something for everyone and relatable to everyone, I really wanted to branch it out to others and express what they felt. It’s a challenge for me to use other people because it’s so much easier to use myself, but it’s a good learning process to work with other people and it’s even richer to hear their stories and experiences; it brings a whole other aspect to the artwork and its meaning.
How do you get your models to make such powerful poses?
It’s all about talking and creating a comfortable atmosphere between photographer and model. I tend to study facial expressions or body language beforehand, so we have chat about what that means. [I also ask them] questions relative to the project [to] force them to think about what they’re expressing and it causes them to talk about what they’re thinking, feeling or have felt.
What is the main message you’re trying to transmit through your Slut Shaming project?
We can all go through rough moments with our pleasure but we all need to have a healthy relationship with it. Sometimes we have to do this alone and sometimes we have the help of others. But ultimately, we have to be happy and comfortable with what our desires are and how we make them happen. Society has this urge to shame people for everything, whether it’s their bodies, their pleasures, their race or their sexuality. People should really start thinking of their bodies and their pleasures in a more positive way. I want it to be acceptable for women to hook up with more than one man or woman in one night [and] to have a one night stand as much as I want the same for a men and for them not to be ridiculed for being monogamists.
Do you have any projects/ideas you are working on right now?
I’m currently working on a collaborative performance with a friend about the struggles we put before ourselves. Also, I’m doing a lot of research into feminist art and women in history. I intend to do a project around the phrase “it is the victors who write history” but direct this more towards women right history too because we have been so forgotten in the past and have had to hide our gender to have success.
If you want to check out her work and show her some support got to: Nina Pennick