We are pleased to share details of The Garden by Ksenija Spanec featured in Lens Magazine.

My project entitled “The Garden“, was born out of my fascination for flower and plant forms, and the sculptural feel they give me, while observing them under particular lightning conditions. My interest for this subject started long ago, when as a little girl I played with plants, using them as toys, making dolls and various other objects, and also by putting them into water and then watching them glitter under the surface. This interest has never diminished, it has enabled me to express myself in different ways.

The Garden is a series of black and white photographs, made on film, with medium format and 35 mm cameras and printed in the darkroom. The setup for these particular photographs is always simple, with a dark or black background. I photograph the subject in the darkness of the room, using a little light bulb to illuminate the flower, during a long exposure. This technique, called painting with light, offers me the possibility of making visible only what I want to be visible, thus reducing the composition and emphasizing the texture and form. The result is often seen as sensual, which is just fine, but confirms that people often experience the obscurity as mystery and mystery as sensuality.

I was born in 1966. In Zagreb, Croatia, where I still live and work. Photography became an important part of my life 10 years ago, when I started to use a digital camera, which was replaced later with a vintage 35 mm camera and a range of medium format cameras.

Recently, I started printing in the darkroom by myself. It took me a lot of time to learn the process, as I am self-taught. I learnt from articles on the web, books that I could find and of course by practicing. I learnt only what I need to, in order to realize an idea. However, each new idea was followed by other ideas, so I needed to go further in exploring the medium. The question I have been asked before is why I switched from digital to analogue? I can finally say that the reason was my desire to have the whole process in my hands. An artist should be able to produce their art unassisted, that is why I wanted to learn the whole process and to produce prints as a final result of my ideas. I really don’t dare consider myself as an artist or photographer, but I like to think I am expressing metaphysical ideas which I must realize, by using the medium of photography.

All images copyright Ksenija Spanec. All rights reserved. All artwork supplied by Ksneija Spanec for this post with permission to publish here. Please contact the author for permission to share.

Lens Magazine

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