Interview: Edinburgh-based photographer Jannica Honey
Photographer exhibits work ranging from residency in Kahnawake Mohawk reservation to music portraits
What led you to work in Kahnawake?
I was heading to Canadian music week in Toronto, and my boyfriend and I planned on staying a few days in Montreal. Kahnawake is on the outskirts of the city and I thought an assignment there would be the perfect marriage between my anthropological background and my photography.
How do you relate to the subjects in your work?
I need to relate to create. I believe people are all the same, regardless of gender, nationality, religion and age – their basic needs are very similar. I'm curious about people and I am also very open and honest about myself when I work. I always look for some kind of connection, even when I photograph bands.
What does identity mean to you personally?
Identity is very fluent and flexible, but only when you know your true identity. Identity is about cultural codes that help us to understand each other.
Ideas about gender have featured strongly in your previous work. How is that explored in this exhibition?
I was focusing more on identity than gender – saying that, I was in conversation with Lauren Karonhiaronkwas McComber, a Kanien'keha:ka (Mohawk) woman of the bear clan. She had a little bit of Scottish, French and Norwegian blood in her and is the founder of the Kanien'keha:ka women's group, which aims helps women to reclaim their roots in a modern world. I've noticed that powerful women, and women's issues, appear frequently in smaller minorities.
What's next for you?
It is all about portraiture and people. I've been invited by Galleri Schaeffers Gate 5 in Oslo to bring over my Mohawk exhibition in May and on March 27 I'll be exhibiting my music portraits at Voxbox in Stockbridge.
Jannica Honey: The Exploited as a Reference in a Mohawk Rez Called Kahnawake, People's Palace and Winter Gardens, Glasgow, Sat 1 Mar–Sun 13 Apr.