Melbourne-based, award winning photographer Nicole Reed proclaims that, for her, photography is more than just a career – it’s her reason for living.
Rarely leaving the house, never mind the country, without her camera, Nicole is proud to have been bitten by the travel bug and searches for the muse of her next frame around every corner. While her work is undoubtedly artistic, Nicole draws inspiration from editorial, documentary and reportage photography, but above all, travel.
Along with her versatile and adaptive style of portrait photography, Nicole has a niche talent for capturing urban environments, giving way for her to produce truly iconic image collections. Her documentation of urban sprawl, decay and abandon shows not only her sheer motivation for social commentary but also her innate ability to source beauty in places overlooked by the untrained eye. Shooting a fine balance of derelict and disused environments across the globe, including Indonesia, Japan, USA and her backyard of Australia, Nicole’s images dictate a combined set of emotions – a sense of mourning and celebration for what these places once were.
Damo: What’s your first memory of the Screaming Hand? Where does it take you back to?
Nicole Reed: I grew up in a country town, on a steep hill, and for some crazy reason our parents let my younger brother (by 2 years), Adam, and myself skateboard down the hill in the middle of the road on our banana boards. I have a few scars still from this period in my life! A little later on when we were older (mid mid to late 80’s) my brother built a half pipe in our backyard, it was just below my bedroom window and we used to play bands like The Dead Kennedys and Suicidal Tendencies from our cassette players out the window. I used to sit and watch them skate, take polaroids and listen to music. This was my first memory of skate graphics and the Screaming Hand. While I was still only skating down the hill on my banana board I remember being fascinated by the boys boards and the designs they choose. It reminds me of being young, carefree, warm and unafraid of being hurt.
Damo: In your opinion, what do you think the Screaming Hand has contributed towards the scene over it’s life?
Nicole Reed: It’s so good to see a graphic retain such an impact over such a large period time, that represents a certain attitude of not only parts of my generation, but generations that came after. It proves that something simple in design can have longevity and appeal to young and old.
Damo: What do you think the future may hold for such an iconic image?
Nicole Reed: I think the Screaming Hand will continue to do exactly that, each generation of kids who are getting into skating will be drawn to the design and it will be around for as long as skating is!
Damo: How does it feel to be selected to be involved in the project?
Nicole Reed: At first I was really stoked when Eddie asked me to be involved. Then when I was trying to come up with a concept for a split second I regretted my decision to jump in and say yes! I was pretty lucky to go to the launch of the exhibition in Los Angeles and the standard of artists there was amazing, I got a little bit overwhelmed and through how the fuck as a photographer am I going to do this justice! Once I had come up with my concept I felt more at ease!
Damo: Why did you choose to represent the image in this way?
Nicole Reed: The image is so iconic in our pop culture that I wanted to interpret it and incorporate in another iconic image, which happens to be the poster from the original The Evil Dead movie. I love horror movies, especially from that era (late 70’s and early 80’s) and the Screaming Hand definitely has an element of horror to it.