Nicole Salnikov

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Nicole Salnikov, “The interim between design, critical thinking, spatial analysis, architecture, photography, exploring, and rock climbing”. Explain to us what is it you do with a quirky fact put in there…

When I went about writing this, I was simply asking myself what do you spend your time doing and what do your projects involve. I would say this is the simplified list. Projects are constantly developing and evolving and therefore the medium always changes.  Most recently with traveling, I usually photograph, write and sketch; this enables me to constantly test myself as well as allows time for fermentation.

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Tell us the pros and cons of making your own publications, what can be the fiddly parts to the most rewarding?

The most rewarding is probably being involved in every step of the process- from initial concepts and sketches to testing methodologies, producing and refining. This way you are thinking critically and operating at multiple scales throughout. To see a range of work come together in a single piece of production – something you can hold, feel, smell, look through, and sit with individually or with company; is fairly satisfying in my opinion.

I would say the not-so-easy part is how long the process actually takes. Every single, seemingly minute decision is still a decision nevertheless and requires careful consideration. The entire organisation and selection process becomes an architecture in itself.

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How do you combine the design, architecture and photography as one; or is it a case of basing one project on one element?

It is definitely an integrated process, multifaceted and interrelated. I think that is most important to me- that various disciplines and types of media inform one another. Developing film, understanding design decisions of spaces, even navigating through unknowns are all relative to one another.

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You work across a direction that allows your work to breathe. Is there a certain pathway you’d like to continue exploring and pushing your work down?

Thank you. I think it is less about forcing projects into a particular path and more about allowing the work to evolve. For me, the primary motive is to continue learning.  And I think it is important to do so by any means- to learn by doing, experimenting, seeing, feeling, thinking, observing, conversing etc. It becomes a constant testing and tuning of the mind and body. Then, hopefully to produce in a way that initiates critical thought, shares open-mindedness and acute awareness and offers a different perspective.

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Talk us through your project ‘An Exploration of Time’…

This is a project with the intent to explore drawing (architectural drawing) and perceptions of time. I was interested in studying how our understanding of time differs from, say biological time, memory, temporary illusions, distortions, etc. Our preconceived measurement of time – one too often capsuled by overruling numbers and repetition – is only one method of understanding. I then began to study the life cycle of Lodgepole Pine trees to narrow the focus, from their internal clocks to experiential differences to threats and potential use after their life cycle. The research began to inform drawing methodologies and explorations.

A standardised measurement of weeks, months and years became the structure of the primary drawing. It then evolved through the layering of information and exploring notational languages. I was constantly testing the relationship between the qualitative and quantitative aspects (drawing-research relationship) using mixed media and darkroom photography. It was an investigation into the processes of making. And revealing the iterative progression was most important to the project. As a result, the process became inherent to both the drawing and publication.

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Quick Round Questions;

Colour or black and white photography? That’s tough! Both. More recently, I have been experimenting with colour. But there is nothing quite like developing and printing in the darkroom, which I only do with black and white.

Biscuit or Cake? Dark chocolate

Film or digital? Film

Design or Typography? Design

Tea or a Cocktail? Hot toddy?

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Who knows what hot toddy is?! Check out more of Nicole’s photography work on her website, as well as Instagram and VSCO – 

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