Challenging normality | Ritty Tacsum

We speak to up-and-coming photographer Ritty Tacsum ahead of her participation in 6:6, a collective exhibition at Lily Agius Gallery, Sliema.

Ritty Tacsum.
Ritty Tacsum.

You describe yourself to be 'largely self-taught', even though you began your training at MCAST. What do you mean by 'self-taught' here exactly?

My training at MCAST was not related to photography. I've never had any training or practice to set up a photoshoot, how to exploit a camera, how to write proposals or how to plan an exhibition. So, that is why I consider myself to be largely self-taught. What I've learnt in the past two years is the result of a trial-and-error process. In the end, I don't think there's anyone who is completely self-taught. Every image remains impressed in one's memory and contributes to an artist's visual baggage.

What are some of your enduring influences, and who or what inspires you on a day-to-day basis?

I love the works of Dali and Magritte and I know they've had a big influence on me and on my work. However, I get inspired by almost anything; from music to films, from dreams to people around me and other random situations.

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Would you consider your photography to be self-consciously 'weird'?

It's just the way my vision is. However, I must admit that during my shoots, I try to create something different, something that's unusual. Thing is, I don't like stereotypical photo shoots. I feel that in Malta, 'strike-a-pose' photography has been overused. I don't want to contribute to it.

Do you think that Malta has a rich enough visual arts scene? How do you hope to contribute to it?

I think we have quite a healthy scene of established artists and a lot of potential in the up and coming ones. However, I think that we need to open our mind a little, especially when it comes to censorship and so on... I think we should have the freedom of expressing ourselves in anyway we want to. As for my contribution, I'm only here to share my vision.

What's next for you?

Up next is another collective exhibition in September in the UK; and also, am currently collaborating with a Swedish designer for the integration of product design with photography.

The exhibition will run until June 16. For more information log on to Tacsum's website.

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