Photographer: Oleksandr Tymkanych's Series Fantasyland

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Oleksandr Tymkanych is a 24 year old Ukrainian artist who lives and works in the Czech Republic. Oleksandr showed interest in the medium of photography from a quite young age and thus decided to study at the Secondary School of Applied Arts. When he later on went to University he discovered the Polaroid! He was fascinated by this new photographic expression after attending a workshop in Slovakia. He was captured forever! He has experimented with SX70, Spectra, SLR 680 and is currently working with- the starting to become obsolete- Fuji FP-100C film.

“Instant film immediately fascinated me. The magic of instant photography is today a very special feeling for me with a unique work of a material that has specific qualities; slight blurring, not too distinctive colors, and unmistakable qualities of a chemical process that cannot replace anything else. Even though someone may consider these qualities as a particular mistake or disadvantage when working. I try to use them for my own benefit; a seemingly separate process that does not interfere with it and influence it in any way. This is a very wide area for me to experiment with the instant material in the way of lighting itself, influencing the exposure and in various ways of developing photographs.”

His main interest is to work with expired material and be prone to surprises they can offer. He is always trying to find new ways to work with these materials and push the limits of the production to new intriguing ways in order to obtain extraordinary results.

Oleksandr’s series entitled Fantasyland is about a land of imagination, hope and dreams. Times, boundaries, are unknown in this imaginary world and the artist invites us to discover the unique inhabitants of unknown origins and location. Fantasyland is a series of constructed landscapes exhibiting great colour alternation and creating a playful atmosphere between objects and shadows.

The series is created with a Polaroid SX-70 camera and film; made up of 20 images presenting, in this imaginary land of no time or boundaries, a series of imaginary creatures creations of the artist’s imagination. “I use instant film to create emotive abstract still life. The result is two combined series of constructed landscapes and imaginary animals. The series, called Fantasyland, was created within the framework of a university project entitled "Animals". The process of the creation of these images was quite complicated. In order to create individual still life first I had to make backgrounds. I used mostly simple materials which I had around me – paper or cloth and then I started creating special surroundings for each image. I constructed it with natural materials like flowers, wooden pieces, stones etc. The last step was to create creatures that could exist in this surrounding and inhabit it. To create these creations, I most often used different types of wires, latex, and gips. Then they were shaped by hand like small statues. Lighting on these images is the most important thing. I used a variety of light sources, from colour filters, small hand lights, led lights and etc... I decided to use instant film because I want to express that everyone should develop their imagination. With this series I let mine run wild. Each of these photographs should draw the audience into their environment and devour them into the world of imagination. I knew that these properties offer me only a Polaroid SX-70 because it has ISO 125 and I can experiment with longer exposure time.”

Most of Oleksandr’s current projects, whether it is a school project or his own free project, he tries to work with classical materials. Oleksandr is inspired by his everyday experiences, feelings and surroundings, for instance movies and music. He dreams of travelling abroad after his studies.

Even though quiet young, Oleksandr has been published in the book Eighteenth Harvested, a book produced by the department of Advertising Photography at Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czech Republic in April of 2016. He has participated in the exhibitions at Polagraph Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic as apart of their Material exhibition in July of 2016 and at Slovakia HalmiSpace as a part of their Polaroid exhibition in September 2016. He also been featured online at PolaroidLove.cz and DesignMagazin.cz.

Nowadays, he is focusing on his bachelor work, which will be dedicated to instant photography. But, of course he still works on new smaller projects with instant material such as FujiFilm FP-100C and Polaroid SPECTRA. “I have a great interest on expired films; I hope to present some of these projects in the future. And who knows maybe someday I will be able to use instant film for advertising work!”

You can connect Oleksandr on Instagram! 


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Lina Manousogiannaki is a visual artist based in Brussels, Belgium. She is a passionate Instant photographer and an editor of the Urbanautica online visual platform. Connect with Lina Manousogiannaki on her website and Instagram!


Photographer: Sarah Seené's Incontrôlables Poésies

Sarah Seené is a french analog photographer based in Montreal, working with 35mm and instant photography. In the darkroom, she hand-processes and hand-prints her images.

Sarah's world is composed of a strange atmospheres, something existing between dreams and poetry, tinted with hints of a lost childhood. Her images are filled with loneliness and longing, seemingly to be suspended in time. For the viewer, that is especially true. We are drawn into Sarah's world. We slow down to take in the many nuances present in her photos, to savor her use of color, composition and theme, and for a moment, we forget everything else, preferring to remain in this dream world, where we lose and find ourselves simultaneously. In the series "Incontrôlables Poésies," the sense of abandonment and solitude is palpable as we take in the once-inhabited spaces where Sarah dared to venture.   

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This series, created with the financial support of Bourse de la Région Poitou-Charentes in France, gathers 65 unique color Polaroids in the form of multiple puzzles. It brings light to the poetic spaces of abandoned buildings in France, where time does its work and where nature is taking back its rights. Since couple of years, the interest in abandoned places gave birth to the Urban Exploration movement (called ''Urbex''). My process exceeds the idea of the photography as a witness. It tries to put back pieces of a etiolated past in which I can make my own projection. Polaroid, unstable medium with its ephemeral elements, its small format and its price, response to the time's lack of control on the environment and the human life. In almost all photographies, wandering characters crystallize the poetry of abandonment. Disappearance of objects, ghosts of an ancient time in those spaces which use to be related to work, entertainment or intimacy. In these vestiges of the past, I wanted to imagine their traces to give them back life.

Sarah's work has been shown in about 30 exhibitions, solo and collective, in Paris, Berlin, Prague, Milan, Amsterdam, London, Montreal and New-York. It's been published in a lot of international magazines and webzines.

She's part of The 12.12 project and World Wide Women, two international collectives of women analog photographers. She's the co-founder of a long distance collaboration project called I'll be your mirror, with the american photographer Sarah Elise Abramson.

You can see more of Sarah Seené's work on her website and on Instagram.  

We recently has the singular pleasure of speaking with Sarah Seené about her series "Incontrôlables Poésies." 

PRYME: Can you tell me about your history with photography? When did you start shooting, what medium did you start with, how long have you been shooting instant photos, etc?  Do you have any special training or education in photography or are you self-taught?

SS: When I was a child, I was taking a lot [of photos] with disposable cameras. When I think about my pictures, I was already composing my sets. When I was 17, my mother asked me if I wanted to do any artistic activities, and I choose analog photography. So I studied photography when I was a teenager after school, just because it was a great activity, but after high school, I learned Literature and Cinema at the University.

PRYME: Do you have a degree or diploma at the university level? Is photography/film-making your primary job?

SS: I don't have any photography diploma. The internet was my way to be connected on the different platforms where I was showing my pictures. Five years ago, people started to ask me to exhibit my Polaroids or to publish them in paper or web magazines.

Now, photography is my primary job. I take digital pictures as a freelancer (dance or theater pictures for example), but of course I prefer to work with analog photography for bands or singers, for backstage sessions or photoshoots.

PRYME: How did the idea for Incontrôlables Poésies arise? Was it something you conceived of and then approached the Region of Poitou-Charentes about making the project, or did they contact you? 

SS: The Region of Poitou-Charentes (in the west of France) was proposing a call for artists to win a grant to create an artistic project to valorize the region. At this time, I was discovering urban exploration (Urbex) and I was fascinated by abandoned places. I applied and I got the grant, so this is how ''Incontrôlables poésies'' was born.

PRYME: When was this series done and over how many months/years did you work on it? 

SS: This series has been created during a period of one year, between 2014 and 2015. It was finished in October 2015, and it was celebrated in a beautiful exhibition in the incredible Le Mouton Noir Gallery in Poitiers, France.

PRYME: What was it like for you to enter these abandoned places?

SS: I'm a very sensitive person. I can feel the energy of a place (positive or negative). When you get in this kind of place, it's very strange. A mix between anxiety and joy. For me, the most important thing to keep in mind while shooting in abandoned places is respect. If the door is closed, I don't break in. I just enter if I can.

PRYME: Were you alone when you took the photos or did you have someone accompany you? 

SS: One of the rules is not to be alone. I went alone once though, in La Rochelle. I was in the city for a singer's photoshoot but I knew there were abandoned places in this city, so I wanted to explore them. I found an abandoned factory, and I got in through the broken window to go in a chaotic scene, into an office where all the wire wool was falling off the ceiling. It was incredibly and naturally beautiful, so I wanted to make a fast self-portrait with my Polaroid, my tripod and my self-timer. Also, I wanted to change my clothes. I had a beautiful black dress in my backpack, just in case. So it was incredibly dangerous to change my clothes in this room which was dirty and where someone could come in at anytime. Anyway, I did it in a few minutes, and I took 2 pictures before leaving. But it's a bit crazy and it's not recommended.

PRYME: Can you describe anything you experienced which may have influenced your photography or how you decided to capture the decay/abandonment around you?

SS: What influenced me to make this series was my first Urbex with a few photographer friends (Lucile Le Doze, Fred Vinolas, Cedric Nicolas, Emmanuel Perret, and Michael Meniane, nldr) in an abandoned fun fair in Berlin (Germany). It was one of my more intense experiences in photography. The adrenaline I felt was incredible and this type of decor was making sense to me. Of course, it's really interesting to see the effects of time and at the same time nature taking control, but it's more than that. I think it's a correlation with the abandonment and loneliness, which are a big part of my artist statement and of my life. It's really incredible to imagine traces of people' past.

PRYME: After completing the series, have you since gone back to visit these same places, to see if the marks of time are even more profound?

SS: Sometimes, I come back to a few places, and I find new traces of people like me. But most of the time, these types of places are being vandalized or used for drug traffic. One or two times, I've seen trees growing out of a house after some time had passed.

PRYME: Has the experience of making this series had any lasting effects on your photography in general? Do you approach or see things differently as a result of this project? What kind of film and camera(s) did you use to capture this series?  

SS: This series was shot with a Polaroid SX-70 camera and Impossible films. It's one of my favourite series, more accomplished and effective. For the first time, my sets are minimalist because abandoned places are naturally incredible. The colors and textures on the walls, the vegetation growing on the objects, the light between the holes of the window are extraordinary beautiful and singular. But it was important for me to invent stories with some characters in my pictures. My friends were my models, so we lived crazy adventures together and while creating some strange fairytales at the same time.

Many thanks to Sarah Seené for taking the time to speak with us and share her incredible work. 


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Anne Silver is an instant photography aficionado who lives in Paris, France and is a member of the 12:12 Project. Connect with Anne Silver on her Website and on Instagram!