Q+A with Brian Lavall

Q+A with Brian Lavall

Brian Lavall is a Rhode Island based landscape photographer who has been capturing Rhode Island from his unique perspective for quite some time now. Brian Lavall is currently showcasing a collection of his unique photographs at AS220 MAIN Gallery. For questions or inquires about the work, please feel free to contact Neal@AS220.org

“Growing up in New England, our lives always revolved around the seasons. From the vibrant colors and cool, crisp air of autumn, the holidays and blizzards during the winter, and the first blooms of spring to the summer beach days and WaterFire nights, the seasons evoke strong memories and emotions for most New Englanders. Photography in its most basic form is the art of capturing light in a single frame to tell a story about a unique moment in time. As a landscape and cityscape photographer, all of my work is influenced by the seasons in some way. The varying light, weather conditions, and flora across the seasons here in New England provide an ever-changing canvas of these unique moments to capture with my camera… This exhibition, Seasonal Scenes Rhode Island, is an exploration of the seasonal changes to our state through some of my favorite photographs captured here in Rhode Island over the last few years.”

1. What does Landscape photography mean to you? What about landscapes interests you more compared to portraiture photography?
Landscape photography for me is an outlet for creativity, relaxation, and stress relief. My full-time job is in IT, so I spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer screen. Landscape photography is my opportunity to get outside and exercise my mind and body. I do enjoy the occasional portrait shoot, but there’s just something about being outside in nature that really helps re-energize and keep my creativity sharp.

2. Where do you see your work going mid and post covid? 
For me as a landscape photographer, the biggest obstacle of COVID has been the travel restrictions. It’s hard to get out for landscape photography with so many restrictions. So the biggest thing that I’m looking forward to things just starting to get back to normal, so I can get out shooting more and travel again. I’m especially looking forward to events like WaterFire coming back.
As far as my work goes, this time and situation have put things in perspective and definitely promoted some self-reflection. I feel re-focused and have some exciting plans in the works that I’ll be sharing more about soon. 
3. Is it important for you to show your work with a gallery? If so, what sort of in-person experience do you think the viewer will have compared to a digital viewing of the artwork? 
I do feel it’s important to show my work at a gallery. The majority of everyone’s art-viewing experiences now happen through our phones, and these tiny screens are wholly insufficient for really experiencing high-quality art. When you see a photograph printed, especially in a large format, and displayed in a gallery setting with proper lighting, the viewing experience is totally different. The colors and details are on a whole new level from seeing the same image on a screen.

4. What sources of inspiration do you have? And do you see those inspirations translate into your work at all?
I’ve long drawn inspiration from many of the usual places, including my family and friends and the places and things around us. But over the last few years, I have drawn more and more inspiration from all the awesome independent creators, photographers, and filmmakers I see and follow on Instagram and Youtube. Technological advances over the last few years have significantly reduced the entry barrier to all forms of digital art, and it’s amazing to see what others can create especially with small budgets and limited hardware. Seeing all of this reminds you that you don’t necessarily need the newest or most expensive gear. The most important thing to do is just get out there and create.
5. What excites you the most about the current body of work you are currently showing at AS220 Galleries?This exhibition has been especially exciting for me because it’s my first “full” gallery show. I have participated in showcases with other artists, but this is the first time I’ve had a large collection of my works displayed on their own in a gallery for a full month. It’s been an extremely rewarding experience, and I am grateful to AS220 for this opportunity to be able to showcase my art and see it displayed in one of the premier galleries in Rhode Island. I am definitely looking forward to more events and exhibitions in the future.