Forever inspired by the Ukiyo‐e work of Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige, each of whom have a series of prints titled 36 Views of Mount Fuji, but also by Burges Park and the parks of London in general, I started working on a series of prints and documentary pictures which focus on the subconscious relationship between nature and the urban citizens reflected in parks. Though nature has always been alluded to in my work, in times of successive lockdowns, many of us have started to perceive parks differently.
In the illustrations of the Japanese masters, I had always been fond of the balance between the attention given to the interaction of the Elements, and that given to the things of human culture. Their way of working in series and the overall process of printing, make their work key influences for the original development of photography and has long impacted my way of writing pictures. Though one major change is to be noticed. Most of the works in the two masters’ series contain human figures, dancing with their respective tools in the middle of intricate landscapes. This adds much liveliness and warmth to their images, one which I feel could be missing from mine. However, photography itself is a technological process, and the technology which was then shown in a sophisticated balance with nature, has now taken over the whole landscape, as well as human activity.
I have found serenity in keeping these images quiet, letting whatever technologically induced noise you already have around do the noise.
This series of story-telling montages is about wound, healing, and post humanism. Due to lockdown, I focus more on nature and myself. The montages include photos of trees that I took in Finsbury Park and the body of myself, which I took through a mirror on my own, during the lockdown.
The inspiration for this set of photos comes from my own painful experiences of relationships during these years. And I found that when being hurt, there is almost no difference between human and tree. We get wounds and then the wounds will scab over time. But the scars maybe left forever. The repeating, painful experiences and scars sometimes make me stronger, like armor, and sometimes they also make me feel fear of being hurt again, and so I disguise myself.
This last year has been a difficult time; within lockdown we often wonder why we feel so low and vulnerable. We have become so use to the feeling of isolation that we cannot comprehend why we feel so lonely sometimes. We have now adapted to accepting this feeling.
We find it hard to use our creative platforms in the same ways that we use to. Exploring the feeling of physically and mentally being imprisoned, I revisited places that hold positive memories for me, as a way of remembering how life once was.
I used my shadows to demonstrate how much life has changed now, casting shadows on all my memories and exploring ways of portraying loneliness within my mind. We feel trapped within our own thoughts, and we can be our own worst enemy.
My name is Nina, I come from Poland and live in the suburbs of Warsaw.
I started shooting on film by accident – I found my parent’s old camera in our house and I thought why not give it a try. I fell in love with the colours, the textures, the suspense when you wait for a film to be developed and the uniqueness of having just a limited number of shots to take!
This mini-project was born quite spontaneously. I needed to get something done in the centre of town. It was a snowy day and I had some black and white film left on my camera. I used the chance and walked around the centre, photographing the famous buildings, as I realised I had never actually shot them before! This was in the middle of the day, but the streets were empty, the snow was falling and there was a very particular shade of grey-white light that’s only present when it snows. The light, the post-socialist buildings, and the empty streets, combined with the texture of the black and white film, which also happened to be a bit scratched, create a grim feeling in the images, which reflects everyone’s mood of starting another year with another lockdown.