Women in Art: Thea Caroline Sneve Løvstad
The second in a new series for the Journal, where we meet with women in art to talk about their lives, work and inspirations. Today we meet photographer and eco artist, Thea Caroline Sneve Løvstad, to speak about aesthetics, sustainability and her personal version of womanhood.
It was back in 2018 where I had the great pleasure of working with Thea, shooting for the Under_Label launch. Grounded in a deep respect for nature, Thea's work flows between the realms of fashion, interior and fine art; her attraction to capturing gentle and often inconspicuous moments creates a playful, calm air to her work.
More important than ever right now her work embodies a feeling of uplift and escapism, which she is putting to great use by participating in projects raising money during the pandemic, The food project in Nepal and The Service Shop, where you can purchase select pieces of Thea's work which will go towards supporting others in need at this time.
Tell us about your background, where did your artistic journey begin?
I grew up in Kragerø, a seaside town South in Norway. Since I was little, creating has been a big interest of mine: I used to love painting, I used to flick through Mum’s interior magazines since the age of 6 and drew my own “clothing collections” haha. Due to all the different interests related to creativity I decided to pursue a career in photography as that medium would allow me to combine all the fields I loved: fashion, architecture, interior, art. Aged 19 I therefore moved to London to study photography. After graduating with an honours degree in fine art photography in 2015 I started working freelance, with a focus on sustainability.
Where do you seek inspiration from, are there certain artists that influence you?
It is so difficult to pinpoint only a few sources of inspiration as I believe there are heaps of influences from all over. Films, people on the street, nature, travels, a special ray of light. It could be anything really. What they all have in common is the ability to create a certain feeling. But that said, the landscape in my hometown Kragerø has inspired me a lot throughout the years and continues to do so.
I truly hope my photography come across as serene and inspirational, provoking feelings and a sense of calm.
Your aesthetic is distinct, how would you describe it and how it’s developing throughout your creative practise? I think my photographic style truly reflects my personality: I am introvert. Loud colours and mess/unorder makes me stressed. Yet I see the little often overseen details that makes something look slightly odd, as interesting. These three factors are also implemented into my aesthetics: models are often portrayed alone, often in a natural landscape. The styling and palette is calm and draws a lot of colours from nature (sand, stone, wood, water). Exploring light and shadows plays a massive role in my work. I don’t remove birth marks, stretch marks, a wonky nose, body hair - that’s only details that tells a story, makes the subject more interesting. A broken branch, a fading wall, a pile of rocks - that’s sculptures created by nature. The eyes see before the camera, so always keep them open. The lens is just an extension of what you see as a human. My eyes are framing the truth I wish to portray, and it therefore is very much part of me, my taste and my views.
How would you describe your version of womanhood, do you feel this reflects within your work?
To me womanhood is diversity and support. It’s not like all women are the same, therefore freedom to shine the way you are, is the true symbol of womanhood. Supporting each other no matter who you are, what you do and what you look like, is womanhood. I hope this is what people see when viewing my work as well.
What do you wish for people to take away from your work, and does it differ between your outputs? I hope they feel a sense of empowerment, calm and inspiration. I also hope I somehow manage to influence others to lead a more sustainable and eco friendly life, providing a respect for nature.
Which part of your artistic work brings you the most joy?
The combination of it all, I simply cannot choose just one direction to highlight. But the three directions have all provided so much joy in form of meeting lots of interesting people and experience so many beautiful corners of the world.
You’re establishing yourself as an influential contributor within the sustainable movement, how do you hope your creative input will aid this? I simply hope it will inspire people to understand how we are affecting nature by demanding all our needs to be fulfilled, we are using resources often without giving back. In addition I (again) hope it inspires people to lead a more eco friendly life, by promoting the good options that are out there. The market is offering so many good solutions these days, but sometimes it can be difficult to discover them unless you have the time to research, there I hope to be a helping source of information for those who can’t spend time researching.
Do you have any advice on how to stay centered and creatively focused? Keep your eyes open, put your phone away. Go for a walk, look around you. The world is full of inspiring details if you only choose to see them.
Do you have any rituals of self care? Once a week I do a little spa sesh at home: having a bath or a foot bath with lavender oil + Epsom salt / pink Himalayan salt and candles lit, followed by a body scrub. A good podcast or calm music in the background while doing a face mask and hair treatment. Followed by some yoga and meditation or just watching a good film accompanied with some choc and a cuppa. The most important thing is to put aside some time to “do nothing” and just be present.
All images have been produced and provided by Thea Caroline Sneve Løvstad