As far as stories go, Iosune's has to be one of the most beautiful and inspiring we've heard lately. Not only has she created wonderful images that reflect her creativity, she did so while pushing forward through chronic pain. Iosune has ultimately managed to come up with a photo project that is deeply personal and moving.
Hi, Iosune, and welcome back to the Magazine! What's changed since you were last featured?
Hi! Thank you for allowing me to share my work with you again. To be honest, a lot has changed since that last feature. My series "Basora itzultzea / Returning to the Woods" was published in the winter of 2019-2020, and I remember it as the most challenging period of my life. At that time I was very ill and couldn't leave my bed for months. Eating was a very difficult task, and I lost more than 10 kilos. I had a fever and pain every day, and my heart rate was so accelerated that even taking a shower was impossible. Doctors couldn't figure out what was happening to me. Now I have the answers I sought, but most symptoms persist.
However, I've managed to get out of bed, recover my (literally) lost voice and return to the woods again. I also left my Ph.D. and started to work part-time as a literary and editorial translator, wrote three poetry books, and moved out of my parent's house.
Regarding photography, I think I'm in the middle of a creative crisis. My life and way of seeing the world have changed so much, but my style is still pretty much the same as before, and I feel the need for a change. I have always used photography as a way to escape, to get away from pain, and maybe it's time to look within and show the light that gets through my wounds.
We love this new photo series you've come up with. What's the story behind it?
I wanted to repeat the same idea of a project I worked on in 2018 that didn't come out very well. At that time, I shot a whole film in the Biarritz Aquarium and then loaded it back into my camera, taking photographs of a park covered by snow. However, the flakes added too much information to the images, and they became a bit of a mess.
Four years later, in the spring of 2022, I returned to Biarritz to attend a literary event and visited the aquarium to repeat the experiment. I shot two films full of jellyfish, corals, octopuses, and skeletons. Some weeks after that, my boyfriend and I went to spend some days in the Tena Valley, surrounded by mountains and lakes, and I reshot the first film, merging the underwater creatures of Biarritz with the landscapes of the Pyrenees.
I had to wait a bit longer to finish the second film because my health worsened after that trip. Finally, however, I took some photographs in the autumn and winter of 2022-2023, first in the Natural Park of Urbasa and then in the mountains in front of my house. That's another thing that has changed since the last feature: I live so close to nature now that even on my worst days, I can see the mountains, trees, stars, and birds from my window without having to get out of my bed. And I can't tell you how wonderful it is.
I also feel that these photographs are deeply connected to my writing. The sea is almost always present in my poems, even if they are set in the desert or the forest. Water always finds a way to flood everything, to submerge the trees and the ruins of ancient temples under its waves. I guess it's my way of showing that everything is interconnected, alive, and full of magic.
It was my first time using those films, so I wanted to see what they looked like. I chose Berlin Kino because I missed shooting black and white and needed a high ISO to take photographs in the aquarium. But, as you know, I'm a big fan of LomoChrome Purple, so I couldn't resist trying Metropolis. I also have a roll of LomoChrome Turquoise waiting to be loaded in my camera.
We love the ethereal look of the multiple exposures. What were you going for with this style of photography?
I usually take double exposures using the multiple exposure function integrated into my camera, so I can have some control over what I'm shooting and imagine how the pictures will merge. But sometimes, I also like to load my films back in the camera and take photographs on top of other photographs without knowing what I had shot before.
The result is always surprising, although risky. This method allows me to explore the passing of time and the simultaneity of different moments or realities, questioning the idea of time as a linear succession. I've always felt the need to challenge the logic of rational thought in my work, to go beyond the limits of language and the way of looking at the world society imposes on us.
We cut the world into pieces, thinking that everything has its own limited extension, that a fox is a fox and a river is a river, opening an abyss that cannot be crossed between the two. But that's just a way of seeing it, a way that freezes what's in motion and ignores and destroys the relationship between everything alive.
I want to say that the fox is part of the river and that the river is trembling in the eyes of the fox. Or, in this case, jellyfish float in the sky around the mountains. That the past is part of the present. That things aren’t just what they are, but also something else, something that’s constantly changing.
Are you currently working on any other projects?
I am working on a series of photographs inspired by a poetry book. I shot the photographs on the beach using LomoChrome Purple, and I am in the process of selecting the images I'm going to share. So all that's left is adjusting the light and colors a little bit.
I also want to keep working on a series of self-portraits about illness and pain, using photography to look inside myself and discover what I have become and who I want to be. Finally, I am planning a trip to Iceland with two photographers whose work I deeply admire, Dara Cuervo and Tania Barrenetxea. I'm sure that watching the glaciers under the midnight sun will be a very inspiring experience, and I'll return with new photographs, projects, and ideas.
Any last words for other photographers out there?
I want to say to all the chronically ill or disabled photographers reading this something that a friend told me when I fell sick for the first time: that no one can take away from you the power to create, to dream, to travel to other lands and worlds.
Even if you can't move or hold your camera or a pen, you can still close your eyes and fly over the mountains with your wings wide open. You are a chrysalis: a creature in constant transformation, filled with inner landscapes and possibilities.
I had to give up photography for a long time, but I found my home in the northern lights and the forests of books, video games, and films. And that was a beautiful thing too. We are not like abled people. We can't do the same things they do or keep with their pace. And that's okay.