Passion for modern art and new wave French cinema have not surprisingly evolved towards subtle eroticism, a celebration of female beauty and emotional intensity in the work of photographer Andree Martis. Newly arrived in London, the Portuguese artist has just announced her latest project The invisible touching which explores sensory perception through delicate and dream-like images.
You've studied in Porto, Madrid, Barcelona and now you live in London. How is the world of photography different in each of these cities?
Each city was a completely different experience, different cultures and lifestyles. Porto was the city where I started my career studying Fine Art Photography in an art school called ESAP. The main focus was on the art side. The environment that surrounded me was inspirational all the time, and so multidisciplinary. I had a group of friends who studied cinema, painting, architecture... And then the school was in the middle of the historical centre of the city; there was mix of authenticity and decadence, as I walked from one side to the other for lessons. It sometimes seemed as though the city had stopped in the 80s. I loved to explore new places to shoot and create stories, I used to involve my friends, and I was also drawing and painting a lot at night. It was as a time of exploring, being true to myself, and having fun with my Zenit camera.
I arrived in Barcelona when I had just finished my degree. It's where I started to establish connections with the commercial industry. I worked as an assistant for a couple of photographers before I decided to explore my own way. I moved to Madrid for a short period of time to do a lighting course at EFTI. It was a great experience, and I apply some techniques that I learnt there to my pictures today. Barcelona and Madrid allowed me to begin to understand the photography industry, through working with creative editorials and doing commercial work.
London is a city where everything is possible, there's an open freedom of self-expression. This is what I was always looking for, my dream was to come to this city and now I'm here. It's the beginning of something new!
Tell us a bit about your project The invisible touching.
The powerful things in life are invisible to our eyes. I played with feelings and sensations between groups of women, the energy that is naturally generated through connections in the same space. Like a fragment of a dream, I tried to recreate well-lit scenes in an exciting and erotic underworld. The white room, simple props and a group of three girls allowed me to create a 'haptic' feeling between reality and dreams, with a contemporary divine romance and a delicate female glance.
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What influences your work?
Freedom, movement, expression, emotions, music, locations, people, textures, senses. I love the light in impressionist painting, the colours and the dynamic brushstrokes. The characters and stories of the French nouvelle vague inspire me a lot all the time. Julia Margaret Cameron was a good reference on this last project although she is more of a pre-Raphaelite.
What's your own personal work like, in contrast with the work you do for different brands and publications? 
My personal work is based on a theme that I want to explore. I observe a lot around me. It could be something that I thought, a place I've been to, someone that I met, something that I read in a book, or a story that someone told me, or it could be a dream from last night. In general the pleasures of humans in everyday life turn into something sublime, expressive, creating atmosphere with soft light and harmonious colours. Also, drawing moments is a support from which I generate the complete story or concept into photography.
Of course, when I am working on a commission for a client I follow the concepts generated by them and try to add my point of view if that's possible, sometimes isn't. The goals are different. When I have freedom in creating story for a magazine, I like to introduce art to fashion, and then I'm happy!
What are your objectives for the future?
To keep doing what I love, to create and take pictures. I am coming back more and more to film, I want to play with my hands on the process more – I enjoy it. It reminds me of when I first started using cameras, the result feels more real, especially on my personal projects. It's like my dreams are coming true and I feel excited about the results. After this, I am developing my new personal project, which should be coming out in April 2017. But I can't tell much about it yet...
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