Catalina Zuleta finds artistic inspiration in the ordinary
Many photographers find inspiration in encounters with the unfamiliar, but Catalina Zuleta was in the comfort of her own home when she had an artistic vision for this photo. The shot — which features Zuleta’s mother with her back to the camera — is a commonplace image that many individuals can collectively pull from their own childhood memories. For Zuleta, it is this aura of familiarity that elevates the photograph into something exceptional.
“Seeing my mother walk around the house with her hair rollers on is an ordinary image to me,” she says. “But taking a photo of her like this reminds me of the beauty in everyday life. Even the things we become accustomed to can be, and still are, very beautiful.”
To preserve the simplicity of the photo and its concept, Zuleta slightly altered the levels of exposure and sharpness, but otherwise focused on allowing the artistry and emotional draw of the image to speak for itself. “I think about this picture as a way of capturing what happens when nothing happens. The non-event. The everyday,” she says.
Now a fourth-year student at Woodsworth College, Zuleta is fully concentrated on completing her studies in philosophy and French literature. However, photography has become an essential tool to Zuleta — who is originally from Colombia — and her notions of self-identity. “Photography has been my way of exploring and understanding life in Toronto and this country,” she says. “It’s how I make sense of everything I see.”
Attention all amateur photographers: Enter the Great U of T Photo Contest. Details here