Julia Shashkina is a young photographer based in London. She was born in Estonia, but moved to England half a year ago. Her photos, very femenine and intimate , tell stories about darkness, melancholy and fear. Here is a brief interview we want to share with you.
What can you tell us about “Melancholia”? How did you come up with this serie and what did you wanted to communicate?
“Melancholia” is talking about a girl, who has been abandoned by the love of her life. Each photograph represents a solitary moment without him, which is filled with silent emptiness.
And what about “She feared the light”?
“She feared the light” is a story about a girl, who had been in the darkness for such a long time that even the slightest sunray seemed threating. Her skin would burn and her eyes would hurt, so she conceals herself from the light, staying in the comfort zone of her own sadness. The series were meant to display how complicated it might be for one to return to simple happiness.
How is it being a photographer in London? Your photos really surprised me as they dont show the kind of situations or life i would expect to see from a photographer living in a big city like that. They are really intimate and some of them are even taken in the woods.
I come originally from Estonia, which is known for having many forests and amazingly beautiful countryside. I find Estonian nature quite mystical, as if there are some hidden stories in these dark yet fascinating forests. I guess I have been inspired by Estonia more than I would even admit – extremely cold winters or rainy sad autumn days.
I moved to London a little bit more than half a year ago and to be honest being a photographer here can be quite challenging. I have no opportunities to drive around with my car and find all these amazing locations, also getting from one place to another can be a great struggle. On the other hand, London is one of the most inspirational cities I have been to. It is always full of opportunities and stories, you just have to be persistent to find your own path in this big city.
Which one do you prefer, analogic or digital camera, and which one do you use?
Personally I use more digital camera but I am really fascinated by analogic cameras. Hopefully in the future I will have more opportunities to experiment with them.
What artists (photographers, designers, writers, etc) do you think that have influenced your work and why?
I believe Lars Von Trier’s films have influenced a lot the mood and visual style in my images. I have been fascinated by his weird yet fascinating way of capturing certain moments of life. Sometimes during my shoot, I would imagine my story is just a film and I am capturing all these certain screenshots from it.
In addition, I find always inspiration from art history, especially renaissance paintings and impressionism.
We would like to know which one has been your latest project and what is it about?
My last project was “Back to nature”, which was inspired by Rousseau’s idea of human happiness. He believed we are intoxicated by our society and could only be happy once we returned to nature. “Back to nature” discloses a peaceful inextricable bond between the nature and a completely free human being.
Why did you choose a red haired girl foor these photos?
Evamaria, the red haired girl in the photographs, is my close friend and we have an inextricable bond as a team. That is why she often appears in my photographs.
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