© Ashley Lebedev | Bottle Bell ™
Hey guys, long time no see.
I wanted to upload something on Valentine's Day/Single Awareness.
I rarely break down an image and go into the process behind it. For this, I think I'll touch on it just for fun. I never do. :)
For those who have been following my work more closely on facebook, you'll know that the other day I went and bought $111.00 worth of flour for this shoot. The ladies at the store (that I'd sold out of the baking aisle) looked at me and my towering cart w/ complete confusion. I probably followed it up w/ something like "Oh, no... it's okay, ladies... I'm a PHOTOGRAPHER"
Has that sentenced ever left your lips too? I feel like I've said that sentence my fair share over the last 6 years always justifying reallllly messy ideas and big productions or sneaking into strange places or doing over the top things.
This image was shot, literally, across the entire floor of my kitchen. Of course being an impulsive artist and not wanting to miss the light, I didn't even put down tarps. The flour was so thick and high across my kitchen floor that you could have built (baked ;) sandcastles.
It was literally like swimming in my kitchen.
This, though it may not look it, was one of the most difficult shoots I've ever done. It was enough hauling all of that flour to and from the store (my car was a giant anchor) but because this is a self portrait I realized how difficult it is/was to shoot under what was verrrrry heavy, packed flour, get the right angles, not get flour in any of the wrong places (everytime I'd move, some would fall in my face or my eye and then in my mouth.
Also, when my eyes began to water I realized flour (in my eyes? OF COURSE) started to cake up and it began to glue my eyes shut. Of course this endeavor went on for a good 4 hours.
other notes about flour, of absolutely no use:
*it's freezing cold to lay in
*heavy to lay beneath
And now, perhaps more importantly:
Explanation of this image
This image is very symbolic for me.
It was initially created because I decided to go platinum blonde about a week or two ago and I wanted to play on that w/ the element and symbolism of lightness, creating something ethereal.
However, I also wanted to allude to very certain things like fertility and how certain things (ie: the color white and flowers across the stomach, for example) can be symbols of such lightness, new possibility or growth. But, as with much of my work, there's a bit of a dark side. Is that a light feeling, really, or does it feel, in some ways like you are surprised w/ no control over those decisions? Are we prisoners to those decisions? Are those flowers really symbols of growth or are they placed like one would place flowers along the ground, in remembrance?
Can it feel like drowning or is it floating? Is that really even snow or is it ash?
I wanted the expression to be rather blank to leave that as a question w/ out a solid answer. Answers to questions are often answers of perspective and, thus, subjective.
Is that process, is the image itself, beautiful or is it ghostly?
I decided to only have things showing within this image that were traditional symbols of femininity or even fertility: face, breast, stomach.
-The hand only reaching up to meet the flower. The rest of the body remaining buried as if it may not matter or plays less of a role in that process. Maybe the hand rises to meet the flower which rises the body up, elevating it, or maybe the weight of those questions smother the flowers as well, pulling them back under and burying them.
So, is this person emerging or is this person drowning? That's the final question.
So, there you have it.
High fives all around!
A barrel of laughs. :p
*I love the process of creativity and creative expression*
I'll leave the rest open to interpretation. I never ramble about work. I like the subjectivity.
I hope you all are well!
I'm a flaxen haired viking warrior princess fairy creature person now. That can only mean more portraiture.
If you'd like to see me more than once in a millenia, I'm always at work and more often on bookface or twitter. I post a ton of BTS and am just available over at each.
Also, some quick notes, just to round it off:
** I will be down with Aaron Nace & Brooke Shaden at Brooke's Chicago Workshop in March.
** I have a two page spread in the April Issue of COLOR - will be available in all major bookstores (photogs, if you see this spread, please snap a shot or scan in. xx)
** I have two images within the BLUE CANVAS calendar in all of 2012. If you see it, snap a shot for me as well.
** If anyone sees a dragon, please snatch him up. Yes, I'm still looking. ;)
ppppssss: i have about 3 spots open in May for "Project Muse" - Until then, I'm totally booked. | email to book: email@example.com