You cannot please everyone | Elisa von Brockdorff

Having recently participated in the Divergent Thinkers 2 exhibition at St James Cavalier along with her young artist peers, photographer Elisa von Brockdorff speaks to us about her background and what she has in store for the near future.

"I've been interested in the process of 'creating' ever since I was young, yet it used to be something I did on the side. After reading for a Psychology degree, I felt it was time to take art more seriously so I obtained a diploma in Art and Design and shortly afterwards I began to prepare a portfolio in order to apply for a Masters course in Fine Art in the UK.

"I guess the most significant milestone of my education was obtaining a Masters Degree in Fine Arts at the University for the Creative Arts in England.

"The experience was very enriching, as it gave me more direction and helped me to determine the most suitable medium to express my ideas. In fact, I focused mainly on staged photography and installation art during the course. I was also able to visit big international exhibitions on a frequent basis, which provided me with a lot of inspiration and a broader understanding of contemporary art.

"There have been a few important lessons I've learnt along the way. First and foremost, you cannot please everyone and obviously not everyone is going to like your work or style. It seems obvious but when I started understanding it properly, it was insightful. I am not a fan of over analysing an artwork either, as I feel that it should speak to you visually without the need of too much text.

"Also in trying to understand what makes a 'good' art work (at least to me) I have realised that it is often quite a fine line between bringing in something which is not familiar and yet adding an element which is in fact familiar and can elicit emotion - people like to be able to relate to something. Last but not least, the importance of a curator when setting up an exhibition - it provides an objective eye and the possibility of 'playing' around with the works on display.

"I think there was a lot of talent at the Divergent Thinkers 2 exhibition, and it was really well put together by the curator Raphael Vella - one could tell there was a lot of planning involved with regards to the design of the exhibition too. I was honestly really glad to be part of it, as it felt 'very happening'.

"I really think that contemporary Maltese art is flourishing at the moment, especially with more art and design related courses being set up recently. I think there are a lot more people practicing contemporary art now then there were around 10 years ago.

"It can be quite seasonal at times. There are instances where it is a bit slow, while it can get really busy at other times. At first it can be a bit daunting, but then one gets used to the cycle. Also, in this day and age with all the awareness about data protection act and consent forms, one has to be a bit careful with regards to what or who they shoot.

"This was quite a busy year for me, mainly because of my previous exhibition - 'C' - followed by Divergent Thinkers a month later. At the moment I am working on some new ideas which I hope to implement soon - I feel that my work is taking on a slightly new direction which I still need to explore. I also plan to shoot a few more fashion editorials in the UK next year."