Monday 28 March 2011

Alina Kisina

All images © Alina Kisina

Here's an interesting project by Ukranian-born, London-based photographer Alina Kisina. City of Home is a series of half abstract, half representational photographs that conflate Kiev cityscapes and interiors. Kisina's images become a dialectical and lyrical space questioning the changing state of both personal and cultural values in Ukraine. Malcolm Dickson, Director of Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow (where she recently exhibited), said of the work: "...Whilst there is a longing in the images, Kisina is too young to be nostalgic (!). She is an image-maker embarking on her artistic journey, wide awake to her task and too driven to dwell on distances to lose sight of the road ahead. These photographs, which glow and pulsate, help plot the way."

I had the pleasure of meeting Alina in person at this year's FORMAT International Photography Festival in Derby which she was also part of, and she immediately struck me as a very sincere but fiesty and fearless person with an intersting story to boot. Here is her artist statement on becoming a photographer:

"Having been brought up in a rather conservative family and trained as a linguist I never questioned my beliefs, tastes or occupation until a single event drew a line between 'Before' and 'After' and the power of visual language revealed itself to me.

I suddenly became intrigued by mysteries and the spiritual qualities of things, realising the potential of visual discoveries made within this extraordinary means of communication. Photography became an obsession and a way of finding my place in the world.

I do not convey facts but merely suggestions, questions and emotions, relying primarily on my sincerity, the force with which I myself feel the emotion I transmit, to help me infect the viewer and share my interrelated but universal concerns.

I prefer not to intellectualise my work but admit the role philosophy played in my education – I cannot escape the categories of time and space that give me the illusion of replacing the material world with the world of ideas."

Have a listen to Kisina talking about her work on the BBC here.