Janet Turra

Fine Art Photographer

Artist Bio

Janet Turra, a photographer and ceramicist, honed her photography skills as a tool in her fine arts career. Often in her work, she used photography to capture stylised still life images and moments she had created as a production potter. Over 25 years, she developed a more specific language through photography that reveals who we are in moments, specifically moments tied to mothering.

Turra homeschools her children without technology and documents them in the same south coast East Cork landscape of her childhood. Her images capture their humanness as they move freely outdoors rather than inhibited inside. Her ongoing work documents their childhood through a time soon to be lost, both to adulthood and a digital world.

Artist Statement

Photography was a way to document what I was doing as a ceramicist, which was tied to a studio and a kiln. It was a way to capture what I could not draw while working on my fine arts degree in Ceramic Design from CCAD and Masters in Design History from NCAD. Photographing flowed effortlessly; it was instant, easy and exciting. Years later, I realised I could express the same ideas with a camera as I had with clay, which was totally new. 

My fine arts degrees and working in ceramics inherently required an explanation of the work I was doing. I realised my photographs narrated themselves; there is a wordless awareness as the stories are intrinsic to the images. I connected with this process, particularly as a Buddhist, because the lens is the same, to see things exactly as they are. 

I have homeschooled my children in an analog environment with an emphasis on time spent outdoors. Over time, my photography has documented the natural action of their bodies when they are outdoors compared to being indoors. This ongoing work tells the story of my children who I see as the last to be raised without technology; the last to learn from their natural environment rather than through a screen. No matter their future, my children will know that the outdoors is always there for them when life gets rough and overly complicated.