Artist Interview - Josie Purcell

Artist interview between Shannon Skye Robinson and Lois Emma Harkin (Curating Futures Project Coordinator), and Josie Purcell (Curating Futures Artist).

* Warning, mature content- nudity *

Date of Interview: 20th of December 2021

Participants: Shannon Skye Robinson (SSR) and Lois Emma Harkin (LEH) and Josie Purcell (JP)

SSR/LEH: What is your background?

JP: I have worked as a commercial, medical and portrait photographer as well as a journalist/photojournalist and a communications and marketing specialist.

I created Cornwall’s first and only alt/traditional photo festival, successfully Crowdfunded to set up my alt photo process community ‘sunroom’ ShutterPod and in 2021 launched Photopocene, a podcast and upcoming photography community dedicated to sharing the work of eco-conscious photographic artists.


SSR/LEH: How did you get into art/ creativity?

JP. Well, I told my careers advisor at school I wanted to be a war photographer but they told me to ‘get a proper job’. I didn’t go on to be a war photographer (although medical photography certainly means I’ve seen some interesting sights) but I did head to art college and fell in love with photography.

Artwork produced by Josie Purcell


SSR/LEH: What do you get out of producing work?

JP: The chance to spark curiosity in the natural world and possibly trigger positive action for nature. Connecting with other photo artists too.

Artwork produced by Josie Purcell


SSR/LEH: How do you want your work to be perceived by an audience?

JP: My work aesthetic is often abstract so other than the viewer’s personal response to my images, I hope it is perceived as a thought provoking way to highlight the negative human impact on the environment and as a beacon of hope.

Artwork produced by Josie Purcell


SSR/LEH: Who are your biggest inspirations?

JP: There are numerous photographic/artistic inspirations for me but at the risk of sounding cheesy, it really is nature that inspires and nurtures my practice.

Artwork produced by Josie Purcell


SSR/LEH: What are the main concepts or themes you explore within your work?

JP: My main focus relates to the ‘Anthropocene’. Work often responds to issues such as the global sand crisis, land access rights and sustainable mining. But I am also interested in plant-based photographic processes and have been researching/using this for some time to lessen my personal photographic footprint. Other topics that interest me include how the menopause effects women’s lives, and family history.


SSR/LEH: What is the main thing you have learnt through your creative practice?

JP: Do what drives you. Never worry about what other people are doing. Celebrate the success of others.

Artwork produced by Josie Purcell


SSR/LEH: Who is your work for? Yourself? A small community? A specific sector of society? Or is it for everyone?

JP: Perhaps a little bit of all the above. It is for whoever lingers to look at it. I’m mostly driven to create my work as a way to raise awareness of environmental matters on my doorstep and around the world.

SSR/LEH: What is the best piece of advice you could give to another artist, or someone just starting out in the creative sector?

JP: Always try your best to believe in and be kind to yourself. Setbacks are simply diversions so take a different route. And you are never too old to start.

SSR/LEH: Why did you decide to join the Curating Futures community?

JP: I have always loved collaboration and hearing other artists’ stories. Although very content in my own space, it’s lovely to make connections with other creatives, and it’s fun too.


You can find Josie Purcell via her Instagram