New Zealand born photographer, Jessica MacCormick has captured our attention with her unique cinematic and documentary styled photography. After working with her for our brand new Spring Issue, we just simply had to know more…
Splitting her time between Los Angeles and London, Jessica is not only a successful photographer and storyteller but she is also a social anthropologist. Her career focuses on explorations of character, environment and the nuanced life of everyday things. She is currently working on two projects; documenting people’s relationships with their gardens and a portrait series on working women. Two subjects we at DECO are big fans of.
Your studio space is…
In an old artist’s supplies warehouse in Dalston, London. I share the space with my husband, Daniel Nikolaison, a film maker. Neighbours include a bee garden, one of London’s great alternative music venues, Cafe Oto, and the Eastern Curve Garden, an amazing community garden run by volunteers.
Advice to your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Nobody really cares (or notices) if you stumble or make a mistake. Harness that youthful sense of untouchability and work it good. Also – establish some good working discipline when it comes to creativity.
What is your all-time favourite trend?
Design that considers sustainability and the greening of our cities – be it creative ways of urban gardening or the development of communal wilderness areas like the outstanding Woodberry Wetlands in east London.
Describe your dream home
I’d love a cabin made of fragrant timber with a potbelly stove and an outdoor bathtub on a piece of land in my native New Zealand – complete with chickens and a view of the sea. Friends and family close by. But for now, I’d happily settle for a terrace home with lots of light and a garden in Hackney, London.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
I’d love to work alongside medical anthropologists Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Paul Farmer, documenting how ideas of health, illness and pain are experienced, constructed and deconstructed in poor resource settings.
Who is a major influence on your work?
There’s a fresh crop of British photographers I love the work of including Jacob Lillis, Colin Dodgson and Harley Weir. I’ll always love Juergen Teller. Fashion designer Simone Rocha. Cinematographer Christopher Doyle’s painterly, but never stagnant, work with director Wong Kar Wai. Photographer Alfred Stieglitz’s startling portraits of his wife Georgia O’Keeffe. Artists Gauguin and Cezanne for their colour play. Photographer Sally Mann’s musings on intimacy and family.
Tell us about your ongoing Garden project.
I’ve been lucky enough to spend time in some really interesting places in the past five years, including Myanmar, Ethiopia, Cambodia, New Zealand and California, where I’ve been drawn to document relationships between people and plants. I can’t help but delight in the seemingly mundane. Those plants, trees and gardens that might slip by unnoticed, those are the ones I’m drawn to. What generally gets revealed, are that the gardens tend to be as characterful as the hands that played some role in shaping them. It’s a project that’s very much forming itself as I go, watch this space!
Do you have a favourite houseplant?
I have the most incredible cactus I bought from Wright and Doyle in London. I have no idea what it is, but it reminds me of something Jim Henson would of dreamed up.
When working on a new project, how do you overcome your fears or challenges?
By doing. It’s the only way. Pushing through. Otherwise you’re paralysed. You learn as you go! I’m very intuitive, process-wise, not someone who sits down at the beginning and maps the journey. Although that may well be helpful…
See Jessica’s work in our latest Spring Issue and follow her on Instagram here.
For More ELLE DECO Design Inspiration
The Spring Issue is all about looking forward and recharging. Revitalise yourself, take stock, and get your home and lifestyle in tip-top condition. We explore progressive gardening ideas, show you how to turn your bathroom into a rejuvenation haven, and take you on a tour of homes that capture the essence of the season. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco using #SpringIssue.