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Behind the Lens with Celia Ruiz de Castilla

By Madeleine Gray on August 9, 2016 in Arts

Photo: Celia Ruiz de Castilla

Photo: Celia Ruiz de Castilla

Ask anyone involved in the arts and they will tell you that the arts in Australia are seriously underfunded. As such, it is incredibly heartwarming to know that there are still legends out there dedicated to creating spaces for artists, no matter what.

THE SPACE Gallery ( is a new Sydney pop-up gallery on Hunter Street dedicated to showcasing vibrant and colourful exhibitions by local artists. Its latest initiative, Behind the Lens, was a landscape photography competition proudly sponsored by The Beast. According to gallery owner Pascal Rajek, the competition was designed to “allow photographers with a love of the landscape and seascape to display their talent.”

During the month we had a chat with competition winner Celia Ruiz de Castilla…

What was the inspiration for your photograph?
The inspiration for the photo was to capture the mood of that moment; walking in the forest was so peaceful I could not describe it. The calm, being alone with myself, was wonderful. I had a strong sense of isolation; it was powerful being utterly on my own. The woods elicited this feeling from me and I felt like that place was just for me.

Where was the photograph taken?
The photo was taken in Karlsborg, Sweden. My good friend lives in Karlsborg, so it is very dear to me.

How many frames did it take you to get the right shot?
This photograph was taken on only the second shot. I’m not a photographer who makes much of waiting for a shot to come to me, hoping beyond hope that it will make itself perfect as I wait. My philosophy is to let the photographer find the shot, rather than expecting the shot to find them.

Are you a professional photographer, or a hobbyist?
I am a student of photography. I am completing my last year of a Diploma of Photo Imaging at TAFE Ultimo. My hope is to be a professional photographer. You can see more of my work at

What do you think the role of visual art is in our society today?
In our society we are surrounded by images taken for the purpose of advertising or similar functions. The role of visual art is the expression of everything outside of such constraints. It is to be beautiful for beauty’s sake, or striking for thought’s sake. Visual art pieces are the sights in our society that move our hearts and not our wallets.

For you, what is the intersection between landscape photography and environmental awareness?
Landscape photography is an excellent way to promote environmental awareness to the public. Ask any person what they think of the savanna and images from National Geographic will pop into their minds. Despite living in urban environments, anybody who is shown beautiful natural images only ever wants to conserve the environment for future generations.