LCF News caught up with Casey to find out more about her work and the inspirations behind it.
LCF News: What’s the idea behind your project?
CM: The project stems from an assignment Paul Bevan (course leader, MA Fashion Photography) gave my class on ‘The Everyday and the Epic’. I started looking at the ubiquity of beautiful churches in Europe (I am from California) and relating them to my own spiritual journey- both have a measure of the everyday- the common- and the epic grandeur of the Almighty.
This started a flurry of research that played into my other projects and assignments for the course which I very much hope to turn into a PhD project. I find that religion, Christianity in particular, is strangely absent from contemporary artwork. My Christianity is the most important thing in my life and a natural thing for me to explore in my artwork so it seemed obvious to explore the space between between art and religion.
For my final MA project, I have been most inspired by Søren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling which explores Abraham as the Father of Faith. To keep it brief, my project is about death. It is about how as Christians we are called to ‘die to self’.
LCF News: What advice would you give to someone thinking of using crowdfunding for their creative project?
CM: As my campaign is not quite over, I don’t have all the answers, but I can say that it is A LOT of work. The MA project alone has taken over my life, and adding this on top of it is really a lot of work. I would say you have to be really, really sure that it’s the right thing to do and make sure you have support- people to send out emails for you, people to write press releases… it is not a one man job. It has been really exciting though to see who my champions are and really encouraging to get so much support from people in every arena of my life.
LCF News: What inspires you about what you do?
CM: I hope that I can make beautiful, interesting things that will give me a wildly successful career… but honestly, if my research and my work can make people think, then I’ve done what I set out to do.
LCF News: What’s been the highlight of your course so far?
CM: This course has been really interesting, and not really what I expected. The highlights include my tutorials with Paul Bevan- he is really supportive of my alternative approach and has really pushed me and helped me realise my vision. Being a course representative has been really great, too. Even though I am really busy, I like the relationship it’s given me with my cohort and with other staff and course reps. And, of course, I just returned from a week in Helsinki with a few people from my course where we collaborated on a project with fashion & photography MA students from Aalto University. It was so fun to see another city and get involved at another university. We learned about Finnish photography and had presentations from several high profile Fins. It was all very interesting and exciting… and it snowed! Very exciting weather for this California girl!
It has been Casey’s lifelong goal to move to London and work as a photographer. She has described installing her work in St Sepulchre’s, a 15th century church, as ‘literally a dream come true’. Casey’s plan to fill this immense church with large-scale artwork is incredibly ambitious so please get involved and show your support by visiting her Kickstarter page.