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: Mara Elizabeth Foley's Parallel Realities

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Mara Elizabeth Foley is a photographer who lives and works in Pennsylvania. She has a long history with photography that began during her teenage years. She has been practicing instant photography since 2011. Her work focuses on alternative photographic processes. Her expertise is reflected thorough various subject matter, the core of her work being an exploration of the alternate worlds that the camera can produce, rather than focusing on a single subject. Through her most recent double exposure work, she transforms the camera from an objective recording device into an instrument that produces intimate, parallel universes.

Mara Elizabeth's work is a limited only by the bounds of her imagination. In the stories she creates with her camera, in the snippets of daydream and memory, anything is possible. Victorian houses rise from piano keyboards. Young women ascend urban stairways to heaven. Walls and ceilings give way to mountains, floors give way to lakes. Like the surrealists, she taps into universal themes, and explores the omnipotence of dream and imagination. Her work is multi-faceted, inviting a close look. There is a lot going on in these compositions, though many of them are subtle thanks to the muted colors and monochromatic tonal ranges, and a cursory glance causes one to miss important details. 

 As an artistic medium photography suffers from the common misconception that it is fundamentally a documentary tool; that photography is more or less a creative twist on a technology produced in order to record an objective reality. Mara Elizabeth's goal as a photographer is to create an image that could not be seen without the use of a camera, to stretch and bend a slice of recorded “reality” into a something unique to the photographic medium. These double exposures are produced when slices of reality are seen through one another, layered and blended; The two are fused together to produce a single, new image that doesn’t correspond to anything existing outside of the frame. The camera is transformed from a recorder of the objective into a producer of the subjective and fantastical.

Mara Elizabeth has been passionate about photography for as long as she can remember. She first began shooting on Polaroid film as a child. However, it wasn’t until High School, when she encountered one of Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs, that she realized the sort of work she wanted to create. She had started at a new school and barely knew anyone; she was already experiencing a sort of slanted, unreality. When she sat down on the first day of Film class, she saw there in front of her the most beautiful photograph she had ever seen. It shows a broken down house atop a tree stump, the sky beyond and above dark and stormy, as though it’s about to rain. However, the anticipation of that rain is frozen, and remains so forever, just a moment before falling on a house that could never have existed outside of the picture. The emotion that it evoked was so powerful that she immediately began to research his process and work. It was this photograph that stirred her desire to become a photographer, and inspired her own artistic goals. As a photographer she wants to create images that could not be seen without the use of a camera, to stretch and bend a slice of recorded “reality” into a reality unique to the photographic medium. She wants to be able to evoke that emotion and sense of wonder that Uelsmann’s work evoked in her in adolescence, to ground us and lift us at once through the experience of a photographic world that can be encountered nowhere else.

Years of effort, error, and experience have allowed her to select a toolbox best suited to these goals. She's been shooting on Impossible film since 2011, when she bought her first 600 camera. The Impossible Instant lab is indispensable to her current projects; it allows her to expose her film multiple times with relative ease, creating alternative worlds with every exposure. She's come to favor Impossible 600 Color Film because no other film works as well in conjunction with these other tools for achieving her vision. The Instant Lab serves as both camera and printer. In doing so, it is a site for exposing multiple images. While the film itself is manipulated via temperature and time, sometimes utilized passed its expiration date, or else kept cold in order to create a dreamy, ethereal effect in the finished product. This combination of tools allows for a great breadth of variation between prints.

The Impossible film is highly unpredictable, which means she can use her Instant Lab in order to produce what would be the same image multiple times, while allowing each to yield fresh and unique qualities. This grants each image its own personality, aiding her in bringing to life these alternative photographic spaces, all the more real in their uniqueness. It’s as though each Polaroid contains its own brand of magic, a personal spell. This variable nature makes the film incredible easy to influence through errors on my part, over exposure, impatience, accident, or purpose, something beautiful and personal is always rendered. Mara Elizabeth wants to achieve a distinct dreamy look that she's never been able to achieve with a digital camera. The majority of her work is experimental and abstract. The initial images may be something she has captured digitally or has scanned, but for the final product, digital mediums are just too clear, too sharp, and are essentially lacking that unique magic that her work craves. Her favorite example of this, from her own work, is entitled “City Hall”. It is a double exposure featuring a nude woman emerging from Philadelphia’s City Hall Building. She created this image with her Impossible Lab, a black and white image which she exposed on 600 Color Film. In the lower right hand corner there is a distinct thumb print from when she first held the image; maybe some would think that this unattractive, but to her it’s yet another layer of reality added to the work, more life and more breath. It has on it a special sort of signature, like a scar that tells the story of where it has been and who has held it.

Foley's work has been widely exhibited and featured worldwide online and in print. Of the numerous showings of her work, some of her recent exhibitions include: A Surreal Vision hosted at Mostra Collettiva Fotografica in Rome in June 2017 , Hair of the Cat Exhibition at the Black Cat Tavern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in January 2017, and the Pop Up Polaroid-One Year Anniversary Group Show at The Art Dept in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in July 2016. She has been featured in print in One Hundred Volume 1 Issue 2  Instant in June 2017 and Square Magazine Volume 7 Issue 1 in July of 2016. She has also made appearances in Hylas Magazine, Snap It See Itand the Impossible Project Magazine

You can connect with Mara Elizabeth Foley on Instagram and on her website!


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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!