Hello, Toni Collums.
Toni Collums, Jackie from Smile Series
VM: First, tell us a little bit about yourself.
TC: My name is Toni Collums, and I am from the greater Memphis area. I received a BFA with a concentration in Imaging Arts from The University of Mississippi in 2010. I am currently a MFA candidate in photography at the University of Memphis.
VM: What have you been working on lately?
TC: Right now I'm beginning a new body of work exploring the idea of smoke screens - both portraits of people as well as landscape.
VM: What inspires your work?
TC: Many things inspire my work - books, documentaries, personal experience, current political situations: the list goes on and on. I am interested in appearance and perception, disfigurement and distortion.
VM: You have an upcoming show with Babette Shaw at the Pla(i)n(e) Gallery. Did you collaborate on the work in the show or did you find that what you both were already doing fell within the conceptual framework of The F Word?
TC: Babette and I did not collaborate, but we were both working with feminist concepts. Babette's interest in language and the use of the superimposed "smile" in my own images and video work together to address silence and the breaking of that silence in women. We are not in a post-feminist society. However, like many things, feminism has changed and shifted with current times.
To see more of Toni Collums' work and work by Babette Shaw, please go to the opening reception of The F Word at the Pla(i)n(e) Gallery Friday, September 6 from 5 to 7pm. Find out more about the show here.
Some of Toni's work may also be viewed here.