J. J. FARNDON – ‘LAYERS OF SKIN’
Jasmine is a third year English Literature and History student here at Sussex.
L.A : When did you start writing/ taking photos?
J.F : ”I have kept diaries off and on for my whole life but I really started writing poetry when I was about 14. I was always interested in photography but I didn’t get my first SLR film camera untill college; I have been shooting regularly on film since then.”
L.A : What do you want to do after your degree?
J.F : ”I plan on hanging around Brighton for a year to build up my portfolio and apply for a photography MA abroad, somewhere in Europe. After that, it’s on to finding a million different ways to live that don’t involve working a 9-5 office routine. I would like to use photography and writing in a way which contributed to a more positive world but I would also like to work freelance or start my own business so I need to find a way of building up capital first.”
L.A : Where do your passions for writing and for photography come from?
J.F : ”My passions for writing and photography come from a wish to both understand and express. This has been with me for as long as I can remember and comes from a kind of restlessness which arises out of a dissatisfaction of everyday forms of expression and the confusion that comes with them. I enjoy the simplicity of both the poetic and photographic form and the ability they have to frame such a diversity of things within a small space. My ideas are often chaotic and not fully formed so it helps my work to have the limitations of both space and colour – I predominately shoot in black and white film.”
L.A : How did you get the idea of reuniting both passions in a common project?
J.F : ”The two are quite connected for me and both come from the same place. Words are able to provide a dialogue for what the images cannot openly express. Equally, by providing a visual reference point for the audience I am able to ground my writing in a visual reality which can both direct and enhance their understanding.”
L.A : Your poetry seems personal, where do you find your inspiration?
J.F : ”My inspiration often comes to me quite subconsciously and the writing style is almost automatic. It will usually be the case that I won’t know what or why I am writing untill I am finished and it is all laid out in front of me. Often I find my poems start by processing a jumble of recent visual memories and then expand from here to reach some kind of deeper of past conclusion which I didn’t previously know were there.”
L.A : Who would be your top 3 writers ?
J.F : ”Kate Tempest, Bob Dylan and Andre Breton. Tempest was probably the first poet who really made me stop and listen, I used to be much more attracted to the spoken word form. I’ve seen her live multiple times and she has an immense power to arouse deep feelings from her audience. Dylan is after all a poet and one of the greatest of all. Breton is a fascinating writer and widely known as the founder of the surrealist movement which I find endlessly interesting for its insanity and revolutionary ties.”