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PEOPLEText: Joanna Kawecki

Sydney-based photographer Carine Thevenau‘s poetic images translate a world beyond the average, enhancing colours and light. Her dreamy, over-exposed images reflect a feminine beauty that exudes elegance and poise. Delicate elegance, to be more precise. Her commercial clients include Rolling Stones magazine and Vogue, accompanied by her personal works that are a sensorial delight. Inspired by travel and collaboration, Carine encourages to ‘Shoot What You Love’, four wise words that also succinctly encapsulate her and her images perfectly.

Carine Thevenau

Carine, can you please introduce yourself, and of course your weapon of choice.

My name is Carine Thevenau, I am a Sydney based photographer and my weapon of choice is my eyes.


Do you remember the first photo you have ever taken? And when your first interest in photography began?

Yes I remember a black and white film photograph I took at a photography camp in Year 4 (age 8 years old) of a forest down the South West coast of Australia. The image was over exposed and when I presented to my class to exhibit after the camp everyone criticized my excessive of light. My response was simply “but thats how I wanted it to look.” I thought it looked magical. My interest in photography became apparent at this time and my mother began taking me on day trips with her to photograph things. She was always talking about different types of light and making me stop to look at the details of things and analysing why they were beautiful or ugly or how they made her feel. I think initially I was just copying her.


When capturing a moment, or taking someone’s portrait – is there anything in particular that runs through your mind?

When my camera is pointed directly at someone I want that person to forget about how they want to be perceived. I want them to go somewhere else within themselves. The more I shoot the more I realise this is a moment where they are connecting with me. Some photographers believe that many portraits are reversed self portraits. For me this is true. I understand that another photographers gaze is searching for something different, but in my case I am waiting for a moment where I crack through and see much more than just a face.


Are there any photographers or image-takers’ work that you look to for inspiration?

As a very aesthetically aware person it is impossible for me to not look at beautiful imagery. Looking at images excites me. I can be obsessed with an artists work for months on end and then I file them away deep inside an archive in my mind and a new artist will take my fancy. I have a growing list of artists I admire. Many are no longer on this earth. Often their life long commitment to their work is just as interesting as the work itself. I keep scrapbooks with artists work I have torn from magazine features or tickets to their retrospective shows, including catalogues of their work. I recently visited the Diane Arbus show in Germany. Before Diane died she made a limited edition book of prints she hoped to sell to purchase a new camera. Many of these original prints were exhibited in the gallery. To see these works was just so touching. An artist such as Diane who was so devoted to her craft with such a singular vision provokes me to want to express myself through photography and know more about my craft. Other wonderful artists I admire include Bill Henson, Sally Mann, Francesca Woodman, Vee Spears and I also love the magical world of Tim Walker.


Is there a particular photographic style (perhaps such as capturing movement or dance) that you are interested to explore in the future?

Yes recently someone described my work as quiet and still. I am sure as I evolve as an artist different styles will become relevant or not relevant to my work. I love music and the way music is so fluid. I would love to create some hypnotic imagery that combines dance and emotions that reflect my connection to sound and the power it has to communicate as a universal language.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a series that explores the possible emotional dualities of existence through the female perspective. The images project a melancholic but magical atmosphere.

Thank you Carine.

Carine Thevenau
Represented by Network Agency
Tel: +61 2 9690 2299

Text: Joanna Kawecki

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