As the victim of a village upbringing, I was drawn to this project. I am always disturbed by the intensity of the night-time when I return home, the lack of urban lighting, the black reflective windows add to my sense of isolation. The images from The Village define a place that is at once familiar but also fictional and the narratives Andrea builds around the chosen locations feel uncomfortable. I like her ‘disconnection’ with the familiar, which she describes as “unnerving”. There is a sense of foreboding and isolation within her images that resonates with me making this series affect me on a personal level.
I’m delighted that photography has become indulgently romantic again and in the series, Isola, Giulia Parlato references some of my favourite photographers; Esther Teichman in particular. Parlato was born in Palermo and her island upbringing is integral to the journey her beautiful photographs lead us on. At its core the story is metaphysical, the cave becomes a hidden and intimate space, and the earth womb like. Parlato describes searching for the ever-allusive idea of “home.” This is seductive fictional storytelling but the images feel personal and seemingly rooted in Parlato’s memory, perhaps as they are inspired by the childhood stories of Ulysses told to her by her father. The compelling photographs are a mix of black and white and colour, landscape and studio. They are rich with myth and magic and I hope only the beginning of her photographic journey.
Kotryan describes her series, In Silver, “as a photographic conversation in between past, present and future written in genes and silver particles”. Had her mother simply binned her father’s old box of negatives and slides the story would never have been born and this treasure never would have existed. In Silver, is about family and identity, culture and politics explored though her own family history. By searching out the Soviet film her father had used to make his family photographs thirty years earlier Kotryan images are a diary of her life now but inexplicably linked both physically and emotionally to the past narrative. The surface of many of the images are beautifully decayed and damaged by both the passage of time, Kotryna’s use of expired film and adds a poignancy to the experimental storytelling. The work embraces a personal and collective memory of people affected by migration, sharing both moments of intimacy and public gatherings the mundane and surreal.