Born in 1989 in Athens, Greece, Ioanna Sakellaraki currently lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. She is a graduate of Photography and Journalism and a postgraduate of European Urban Cultures. She documents urban decay and lost architectural ruins and she focuses part of her work on memory and territory. She is very much interested in the relationship between her photography practice and ideas relating to aesthetically “mapping” the historical and contemporary context of relations with global and social systems of power.
We met Ioanna through the Shutter Hub OPEN Exhibition at Retina Festival in Edinburgh earlier this year. Her recent project Intimate Wastelands/Home And Away is a powerful and personal body of work that we felt needed to be shared further – so here's Ioanna introducing her work, in her own words…
‘’Sometimes places possess you even in their absence. They are like buried stars oscillating between near and far.’’
Home And Away is part of a wider body of work entitled Intimate Wastelands. It stands for the perpetual internal exile and universal melancholy and forms a way for reconnecting to a land I know and I don’t, as a visitor and collector of experiences. In my effort to explore the fine line between desire and obsession, I focus on elements deriving from memory and symbolism.
Through uneasy portraits standing for isolation and despair, I am looking for stories that make the familiar strange again. This series has been a significant step towards healing after the loss of my father by simply paying attention to the world around me and myself in it; in other words practicing mindfulness through photography. During this process, I backtrack familial bonds and I symbolically link them to the wider context of cultural and behavioural patterns within my own country, I learn from them and I learn about me.
All images © Ioanna Sakellaraki
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