Interview with Matthew Jessie, photographer based in Johnson City, Tennessee.
Tell us more about this image and your series “It’s Spring and I’m Alone” ?
One a weekday morning I was waiting for the train to go to work. I decided to walk to the other end of the station and came upon this random cake, barely touched and completely left alone from the night before. There was a beautiful light from sun rise, so I took the picture, as I felt there was something lonely and discarded about a Happy Birthday cake.
A few months later I uploaded the picture to social media, and a good friend called me. She told me that the cake had been given to her by a patient at the pharmacy that she works at. This patient had a bit of a crush on her and this gift was a bit too much, she didn’t want it. She left it at her work place and when she returned from her lunch break it had gone. Until I took a photo of it.
More generally, my series is about the feeling of abandonment and isolation – how they form and consume and give way. On my girlfriend’s birthday she flew away from Australia and I was upset, pissed off and forced to be alone. At the same time Spring was starting and colours were becoming beautiful and people were happy and alive. So in many ways those things made me feel worse – that the world was waking up and joyful, but that I felt like a funeral.
Towards the end of the series the images are more happy and playful, as my period of isolation was ending – after 5 months I left to join my girlfriend overseas.
Matthew Dunne - 26, live in Cambridge, England now, but until last month Melbourne, Australia was his home.
Tell us more about this image
I took this photo in one of the last few Art Deco buildings in Manila, one of the spots my photographer friends and I typically go to shoot. There’s this one room I really like for its unusual shape and details, like this big window in the picture and a sun roof that gives it a nice natural lighting on sunny days. I eventually found out this room has a lot of history and even used to be rented by a popular actor for decades. Fortunately, I was able to take this shot before they closed it off for renovation into a small museum. I used my Pentax Espio 120 SW II loaded with an expired Kodak Gold 100, and turned on its date stamp function on purpose for my ongoing photo diary project.
Joy Celine Asto - 29 years old photographer from Manila, Philippines.