Edie Sunday is both scientist and artist, crafting enchanting insights into the darkest parts of the human psyche through analog photography with utmost delicacy, transience and attention to the female form. Alongside photography, she also studied and practises psychotherapy to satisfy her scientific as well as creative curiosity. One could also say that aside from scientist and artist, a writer also lays in wait; from her love of words and inspiration drawn from the words of others such as Anais Nin and most recently Patti Smith.
We were particularly interested in the fact that Edie’s photography practise became dormant for four years during her studies. Four years, with no urge to capture images, and total neglect of creativity which ultimately worked out in Edie’s favour. During that time, there was an emptiness, a void which was unclear as to how to fill. Her scientific persona had superseded the much needed artistic Edie until a special person encouraged her to rekindle her forgotten artistic zeal, ergo the birth of the alias ‘Edie Sunday,’ coined after a few years of Edie Sedgwick obsession, names reminiscent of times long gone, and Sunday photography frolicking before Edie’s creative lapse. This collaboration of psychology and photography coexist as ‘exploring the unknown, in uninhibited self-expression, in bringing emotions to light that we tend to keep in the dark’- a darkness which Edie is already comfortable with in herself and continues to embark on in highlighting this dark existence found in every human being; confronting those who choose to ignore it out of shame or fear.
Edie had been shooting 35mm for years until she jumped into the world of large format, bought a Graphlex Crown Graphic 4x5 without any inkling as to how to use it or even open the camera. It seemed even her local camera shop had no more experience than Edie did until they remembered Jeff the delivery guy who ‘still shoots this stuff.’ Their introduction led on to a one hour tutorial and then progressed to further lessons on black and white developing.
We hit it off and realized we’d both been waiting for each other— he was in his late 40s, semi-retired and had a passion for teaching analog photography but no outlet, and I was a lost 22 year old with big ambitions but no means to carry them out. He taught me how to print in the darkroom properly and just about everything else I know about photography up until my own experiments. Then there was a point where I was unsatisfied with the run of the mill “perfectly exposed” images I was creating. I was becoming bored and uninspired and I desperately needed a way to actualise my vision, and so the manipulations came in. It started off slow… just soaking a roll of film here and there… but now I believe I’m a certifiable mad scientist. It’s all to self-express… I have to self-express in obscure ways, in colours that make no sense, it has to be a reflection of the inside of me. My photos look like the inside of me.
We cruelly asked the impossible question of ‘what are your top three favourite cameras to shoot with?’ A cruel question as Edie has been building her collection since the age of fifteen. Nevertheless, here are three she happened to have with her.
Mamiya RB67— I primarily shoot expired Polaroid film in this as opposed to 120 roll film. I will use this camera until the day that I die. My favourite technique with this camera is double exposing expired polacolor.
Canon A1— this is the camera I learned everything with and it has sentimental value for that reason and others… it comes with me wherever I go. It’s convenient, 35mm, easily double exposes and has an internal light meter that makes my life a lot easier. I like to shoot with a 28mm lens with this camera, do a lot of double exposures, and a lot of chemically altering the film once I’m done shooting.
Olympus Pen-e — this little camera is the best. I bought it from a thrift store that believed it no longer worked not too long ago, but it turns out it just had a finicky selenium light meter. It’s a half frame camera, which means that as opposed to 36 shots, I get 72 per roll. I document my everyday life with this camera and it’s come to mean a lot to me. It’s home is my purse. I tend to shoot a lot of expired film in this camera, and the results are very ‘contrasty’ and saturated.
The artist for a while had defined herself as a portrait photographer- although trying to move away from this comfort zone- she cannot help but remain drawn to human expressions and capturing fleeting moments that she is lucky enough to witness and then document-‘immortalizing’ these expressions and bringing to light undiscovered and unrecognisable emotions within Edie’s subjects. Personal inquisition of the female archetype, of what it means to be a woman psychologically and physically, thus drawing Edie to photographing females- ‘mysterious, introverted subjects…women whose body language and facial expressions speak volumes that words never could.’
We can’t get enough of Edie’s whimsical work. Explore more of Edie Sunday and embrace your darker tendencies.
Feature by Amber Scarlett / firstname.lastname@example.org