Let’s Talk about Life & Death Darling
My work is about Life and Death. I am fascinated by both.
I tell stories. It is a fiction mixed with some of a darker part of reality around me.
What is always behind the image is a thought. Thoughts behind my photographs are my fascinations, fears and concerns related to the existence and its ending. I use photography to record these. I take inspiration from cinematography and old masters’ paintings.
I am interested in Memento mori theme in visual art. Thinking of Time and its destructive powers is what drives my project and shapes my ideas. I explore the notions of “never”, “forever” and “always”. I work on a medium format film camera.
When working on the 1st part of a project, chapter “Let’s Talk about Life & Death Darling”, I had Ingmar Bergman, one of my masters in mind. Watching his “Seventh Seal” was a primary inspiration and a starting point of bringing this series to life. How to picture Death? Bergman’s way of doing that pushed me to search for my response. Images are titled “Woman in The Church No.1” (5 consecutive numbers). It started as a fiction only. I thought that I was doing a project about the fear of death in general. Death in my family steeped in into my fictional stories in 2017 and changed what the project means for me. “Woman in The Church No.0” and “(…)No.4” as well as pictures from the chapter “Post Mortem Home Visits” is a personal story, not a fiction anymore.
Chapter “Immortals” explores same fascinations, however, approached from a different angle. The visual reference is the theme of a Baby Jesus Sleeping developed in iconography during the 17th century. The counterpoint between the beginning and the end of life was then bound together with the theme of Vanitas. The sleep of the infant Jesus symbolized the sleep of death and prefigured his future death and martyrdom. My approach is a reference to both a future death as well as a state of unconsciousness of mortality issues in the early years of childhood. Their sleep is a symbol of unawareness. I was photographing toddlers at the age when they start to understand what life is about yet still feeling immortal thanks to comfortable unfamiliarity with death- I find that fascinating.
P.S. Dear It's Nice That,
This project is developed on 1 photograph (Woman in the Church No.1) which luckily got me into The Photography Annual 2015 by Creative Review Magazine and won the Breakthrough Award 2016 from The British Journal of Photography. Only one picture was published in both which encouraged me to develop it into full body of work. It took me a couple of years to work on it, however, a significant majority (80%) of images were taken in 2018.