Jan 13, 2020
Agnieszka is an American-Polish photographer currently based in Iceland. In her series "Myth of a Woman", Agnieszka documents her life as an immigrant, showing us her fears and struggles, but also her achievements and adaptation to a new life. Presented as a tale, this fantastic series slowly revels itself, inviting us to discover its multiple layers. For instance, these timeless images could also refer to the traditional Icelandic culture, where people had to endure harsh and averse conditions in order to survive, which in turn impregnates these photographs with some kind of wisdom and spirituality.
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
AS - My parents and I were born in Poland, but we are first generation Americans. I grew up and was educated in the Boston area. I studied photography at Massachusetts College of Art from 1989-1995. I earned a BFA in photography. I studied photography with Barbara Bosworth, Abelardo Morell, Laura McPhee, Nick Nixon, Frank Gohlke. For the past 15 years I have called Iceland home. I immigrated here in 2005. At the moment I live on a farm in the East with my Icelandic husband, our four dogs, two cats and chickens. In the summers we raise bees and I work in my garden. I am employed as an elementary school teacher. I teach at a small school in the countryside, it is called Brúarásskóli. It's comprised of 35 students, their ages are preschool to the 10th. grade. I have been a teacher there since 2008.
am - How did you start in photography?
AS - I first learned darkroom photography when I was fifteen years old in high school. I used to take pictures of my friends. We were punks as teenagers. I learned how to process my own film, mix chemicals, and develop pictures in a darkroom. It was magic. I never imagined then how important the language of photography would become in my life.
am - What is “Myth of a Woman” about?
AS - I am documenting a path in life I never planned or expected. In my eyes the female spirit in Iceland encompasses strength and community. This strength has served as an inspiration in my life as an immigrant. I photograph myself, my students, new family members and friends. The inclusion of myself into these places represents a connectedness to a place. These photographs are my myths. They are my love, hopes, fears, and strength. They are my truth.
am - What were you most interested in capturing with these images??
AS - Strength, vulnerability, belonging, hope and fear.
am - What is your favourite movie?
AS - "A River Runs Through It", a 1992 film by Robert Redford.
am - What is your favourite photo book?
AS - "The Notion of Family" by LaToya Ruby Frazier.
am - What are your plans for the new year in terms of photography?
AS - I will be one of a group of 3 female photographers whose work will be shown at a booth at Photo London 2020. We are represented by "Vision Neil Folberg Gallery". This event will take place on May 13-17 at booth G7 in the main pavilion. The other two photographers are Beth Moon and Jennifer Schlesinger. I am honoured to be in such great company! As for new work for this new year... I hope to make mistakes.
To work hard, to learn, and to keep looking for stories that want to be told.
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.
All images © Agnieszka Sosnowska