Alesia Gudkova – Featured IPA member
Alesia Gudkova was born in 1979, in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. She has a university background in germanic studies and got a specialization in foreign economic relations as well.
In parallel, she became interested in photography and did her first steps by starting shooting with film (1999-2000). At that time, she went familiar with the technical background of film development techniques by working in a printing/photo laboratory during her studies. There, she got used working with minilabs such as the Master One GRETAG 260. It wasn’t so usual that a woman could deal with such machines at that time, but that experience allowed her to learn how to deal with the technical aspects of the printing process, and all the types of corrections that it was sometimes needed to do on photos.
That experience was a first step into the world of photography, but the real need for starting shooting with a personal vision of things had to wait for some years more, as time was needed to make that the “inner voice” finds its way out and transforms itself into a real need to express ideas and feelings. In 2007, Alesia switched to digital. But it’s “only” in 2012-2013 that she really started to get involved intellectually into photography.
After a short period of basis learning where she discovered and started to analyse a couple of classic photographers, she forgot quickly a personal approach of the medium, far away from the typical neoclassicism and the classical “path of the beginner”. The authors she started to like show her tendency for looking new non conventional ways able to express her complex vision. In a very modest way to say it, she forgot her own subtle “inner eye”.
Alesia’s photography is full of her sense of observation. The sources of her style need to be found in documentary photography, although in practice she uses a lot the technic of “real life models”, among of course pure “life time” reportage. In those shootings, an intensive psychological dialogue (both spoken and visual) is initiated between the model and the photographer. There, the subject, and contrary to most of “prepared shootings”, can exist for itself, as the photographer puts his model into an observation situation. This intense visual dialogue, when successful, is able to bring to the surface the soul of the model, in all its purity and without any kind of flattery, illuminated by the use of natural lighting.
Woman, femininity, sensuality, childhood and family bounds are among the themes she likes to explore. If the figure of the woman, in all the senses of the word (girl, teen, young woman, mother) may seems to be the most important one, she tends to the same deep psychological bond with all her subjects, whatever they are humans, or animals or even natural elements. Her complex and special way to frame tend to produce both very personalized characters and archetypes, which could be seen as a from of contradiction. But it’s not. Her photography tends to bind these two opposites in a space where the time looks frozen…like shielded from the ageing ”