JONATHAN CHERRY: What did you want to be growing up?
DANA STIRLING: Originally as I grew up I wanted to be a writer. I used to write little short stories and little paragraphs. In my junior year in high school (Israel) I got a little pocket camera and I started taking it everywhere with me, taking pictures of my friends and my garden. I started to fall in love with photography and in the age of 17 I decided I will study photography after my mandatory army service. Now my dream is to open my own Gallery which will have a photography library as well.
JC: Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
DS: My partner Yoav Friedlander
He is currently finishing his MFA at the school of visual arts in NYC. As he is creating his miniatures and fulfills his photographic fantasize, the house becomes a playground of objects which inspires me in my own works. Mostly I am inspired by his determination in photography and his absolute passion for it.
JC: What are you up to right now?
DS: I just moved to NY after finishing my BA Back in Israel. I am an intern at the great Hasted Kraeutler gallery in Chelsea, where I learn the real world of art and galleries. In addition I am a TA in the teen academy black and white darkroom facility at the ICP. In my free time I try to create as much as I can.
JC: Have you had mentors along the way?
DS: Yes. I had a few teachers that touched my heart and aseptically help me find my way in photography. Tamar Setzemski was my teacher in my second year of the BA. She helped me create my first family project named “Anonymous family” which was the opening start for the rest of my photographic view. In addition Sarah Filer and Noa Melamed helped me all of my years in school to shape my vision’s while still letting be myself. They all have a huge part in my main projects during my BA and they will probably be a part of any photograph I make.
JC: Where are you based right now and how is it shaping you?
DS: I come originally from Israel and all of its baggage. Now I am in NYC. I am able to learn more about art and culture. I can see art that I only heard about in a small class room, now in galleries in front of me. It is always exciting to see in person an art work that you admired for so long.
JC: One piece of advice to photography graduates?
DS: I think the hardest thing after finishing school is the pause and the silence. You don’t have a specific work or assignment to follow up on, so you really have to motivate your self to carry on creating and pushing yourself in any way you can.
JC: If all else fails - what is your plan B?
DS: I hope to always be a part of the art world in any way I can, even if it means to be the floor cleaner at the MOMA!
JC: Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community?
DS: Yes. I try and see as many new artist online and see what is going on in the young art world. I try and submit my projects online in order to be a part of he art world as much as I can.