Christina Shaffell is a photographer, designer, and sometimes wanderer. Born a stone’s throw away from the Happiest Place On Earth, and raised on a steady diet of Kodachrome, she fell in love with the still image at an early age. After getting some smarts in the City by the Bay, she headed east to the Heart of Texas. There, she learned all about artistic collaborations and why having a couch on your porch can be a good thing. Christina is currently living, working, and planning new adventures from sunny Southern California.
How would you describe landscape photography’s place and significance in the world of art?
Landscape photography appeals to a lot of different kinds of people. I’ve found that I can communicate certain ideas better through images of the landscape than say, a portrait of emotion on a person’s face. For me, the thought I’m trying to get at may be similar, but a landscape can often say something like “isolation” or “moving on” with more subtlety. It’s that understated quality of communication, and the room it leaves for viewer interpretation, that keeps it viable in the art world. That, and it’s just plain pretty to look at sometimes.
Virginia seems to be a muse for you. Is this simply because you lived there, or does it inspire you as well?
Both. I first started shooting landscapes regularly when I left Texas for Virgina. I didn’t know anyone there, and was living in a pretty rural isolated area. I didn’t really have many people to shoot or collaborate with, so I started photographing what was around me: land, weather, abandoned places. The last few years have been constant motion for me, traveling, moving from one place to the next. This body of work is me trying to process what I see, in a lot of ways figure out my place, and communicate it to others. That all started in earnest for me in Virginia.