Photographer Sarah Pabst is the type of artist who never shied away from documenting personal issues surrounding her life. Her new series “Reclusive” lines up within that territory as she explores a world inhabited by her and her boyfriend who is currently fighting a battle with his personal demons. “When we met we were immediately drawn to each other, but we didn’t have an easy start. There was love and passion, but also addiction and pain. Out of an inner need I turned the camera to what was close to me, to have something to hold on to if things threatened to fall apart,” Sarah said, explaining the narrative behind her photography series. The result is a series of dreamy visuals that sets forth a melancholic story touching on the romantic bond between Sarah and her lover. “This imagery is my journey, my intimate diary as I search for the answers to the vertigo of everyday life and the torments of my heart and soul. It’s about my life, my feelings, about us. Because, in the end, we are all just full of hope to put back together those broken pieces,” Sarah added

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

How did the idea for “Reclusive” came about?

“Reclusive” is like a personal intimate diary. Before I had worked on several projects that were more photojournalistic – always with a subjective and emotional approach, but never about something so profoundly personal. “Reclusive” is about my relationship with my boyfriend which was troubled in the beginning because he was trying to overcome an addiction. I started to photograph him, us and what surrounds us. I thought, if things turned out badly at least I’d have pictures, something to hold on. Photos made everything real to me, they suddenly were a proof of the truth. It was only month later when I noticed that I was working on a project. “Reclusive” was born.

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

Tell us the narrative or message you wanted your series to convey to the viewers?

“Reclusive” is intuitive, it doesn’t follow any story-line. It’s about love, about hope. I want the viewers to believe in love, to go through struggles. The series is about human life. Most of us have loved once, or are in love – Love is universal. I hope viewers feel inspired by the series. Maybe it gives strength to someone to go through difficult times, to see beauty in nature, in life.

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

Sarah_Pabst_Reclusive_005

© Sarah Pabst

What are the most fascinating discoveries you had while doing the series?

I think first of all I was surprised by myself, that I was working on a project that had as a topic my own life. I participated in a workshop with Antoine d’Agata, which was very important to me and somehow a turning point. I noticed that I had taken a lot of pictures but that I myself was almost absent in them. There I started with self-portraits, to express what I felt. I was always wondering – when will the series be completed? How to know when to stop? And then, one day, I was selecting photos for the book project of “Reclusive” and I felt so at peace with me, with us and there I knew, the project was done. We healed through it, both of us. Our pain, our joy is in the series. It’s like a chapter that was closed and it closed for good. And that was the most fascinating discovery, that photography had like an therapeutic effect on me. It became another language that expresses things words can’t do, right out from the inside.

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

As a photographer, how do you choose the subjects or topics you want your photography to document?

Social issues have always interested me, especially themes on women and identity. Even “Reclusive” now deals with identity. I think this also has to do with me living 12000 km away from my native country. Through photography you try to find your place in the world. I think photography has power. I have never been interested in the big issues but the small stories of people anyone would listen to. I chose intuitively what project to photograph. This can be something I read about, or that someone talked to me about, but most of all it has to be something that touches me.

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

Lastly, share to us your future photography plans or projects.

I am currently working on different projects. First of all, I want “Reclusive” to become a book soon and I am working on it since some time. I hope to be able to present it soon. In Argentina presently I am photographing a portrait series of the now grown-up children of the “desparecidos”, the “missing”. During the military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-1982) around 30.000 people where abducted, their bodies have never been found. It’s a very sad topic but I am always impressed by the strength of the people I photograph. Another intimate and very important project I am working on is about my family, World War II and my memories. It’s about coincidences, about loss and violence, but also about a bit of luck in dark times, political consciousness and courage.

And last but not least, “Reclusive” is a diary, so I guess there’ll be a part II sometime.

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

© Sarah Pabst

To see more of Sarah Pabst’ works, check out her official website at Sarah Pabst dot com.