Wednesday, 16 July 2014

About The Exorcist

Last winter we had so many wind-storms passing by London that a lot of old trees fell to the ground. I wanted to shoot an exorcist theme for a long time but only this specific tree that I found fallen dead in Clapham Common set things in motion. The location reminded me of the rite 'Dziady' that was an ancient Slavic feast commemorating the forefathers. Literally, the word is translated as "Grandfathers". It was held twice every year (in the spring and autumn). During the feast the ancient Slavs organised ritual meals. In local mythologies such feasts were organised both for the living and for the souls of the forefathers who joined the dziady after dark. 
When you talk to someone about 'Exorcist' they usually have the typical Hollywood supernatural horror movie in mind. Alternatively there is the Roman Catholic context, where an exorcist is a person who is believed to be able to cast out the devil or other demons... But I chose not to use crosses, nuns or other religious objects. It was supposed to be a fashion story after all with some connotation to the past and ancient tradition.
BTW, all shots are done around this fallen tree and we had 8 changes of clothes done in pouring rain. The whole shoot was done in about 120 minutes which I think is super quick for an editorial but sometimes you have to work with what you have got!

I am the sorceress, 
Down in the deep, 
I am the earth, 
Under your feet...
- 'Messiah' Madonna

Monday, 9 June 2014

Japan II

Japan is a country full of contrasts. And how to present 'contrast' better in pictures other than in black & white?
I actually prefer this series below than the colour images shown in my previous blog post. I think the monochrome works best here, especially the images of cities full of glass & steel skyscrapers, food markets with products perfectly displayed, clouds of people, traffic, zebra crossings, speeding cars, the electric cables and pylons running over the backstreets of each and every city, just as seen in the apocalyptic Blade Runner movie... What makes Japan so interesting is this contrast that touches every single part of its existence: it is very modern and yet very very traditional; technically advanced and yet one has to pay in cash everywhere; the cities feel extremely overcrowded and never-sleeping while the smaller towns are disturbingly quiet.

But my 'favourite' images from Japan are the ones from Hiroshima, especially the ruins of the Genbaku Dome, 'the only structure left standing in the area where the first atomic bomb exploded on 6 August 1945. Through the efforts of many people, including those of the city of Hiroshima, it has been preserved in the same state as immediately after the bombing. Not only is it a stark and powerful symbol of the most destructive force ever created by humankind; it also expresses the hope for world peace and the ultimate elimination of all nuclear weapons.' *[UNESCO]