Inspirational, Exciting & Creative!
Following last year’s great success with the visit of well renowned photojournalist, Lorenzo di Pietro, a guest of the Malta Institute of Professional Photography (MIPP), this year, the Institute will be going one better and will be giving their members, as well as other local photographers, something really special. The MIPP’s guests in August will be international photographers Witold Flak and Chiara Fersini.
Some photographic enthusiasts should remember Polish personality Witold from a previous visit to our island. At that event, his lecture and character were a breath of fresh air and incredibly inspiring. Chiara, who hails from Italy, will be visiting Malta for the first time, and will surely leave an impression with her fantastic brand of photography.
This event is purposely linked to World Photography Day, which is celebrated on the 19th of August. What better present to give local photographers than this veritable feast of creative and inspirational photography and networking?
The scope behind this event is twofold: Firstly to nurture the ideal conditions for MIPP members and local photographers to come together in one big event and, secondly, to enable the MIPP to bring international personalities in the photographic field so as to act as catalysts to further stimulate and widen the horizons of local photography.
To coincide with this event, Chiara and Witold will also be exhibiting their work at the Cavalieri Hotel in St Julian’s from the 18th of August till the 31st of August. The Exhibition is entitled, “Insight.”
Chiara Fersini (www.himitsuhana.com) holds a degree in English and Japanese. She investigates the intriguing inner relation between photography and painting, and takes inspiration from thePre-Raphaelite painters and the Liberty style.
She has already participated in many art exhibitions and contests; and she’s been featured in magazines such as “Advanced Photoshop, NL” and “ Fashion Capital, UK”.She has experience as a designer for storybooks, fashion and the entertainment sectors.
Her photography is a mix of art, technique and poetry. Her work is stunning and surprising. Her set of photographs, which will be exhibited in Malta, belie her young age but undoubtedly bear the stamp of a very talented and sensitive artist. Not only is her technique to a high level, but the content of her work stimulates the viewer to look deeper and explore the artist’s message. When one takes into consideration that Chiara also at times models in some of her own images, one starts to understand the talent of this Italian image maker.
In “Gravity is a lie”, Chiara creates a surrealistic mood in her image, very reminiscent of Salvador Dali’s paintings. All her works embody a process of thought, imagination, high standards of technique and post processing. But what makes her artworks a cut above the rest is that she knows how to pose and portray her subjects to pass on her pictorial message, whilst her knowledge of light and imagination further enhances the final effect.
In another image, “L’ audition”, Chiara creates a mood of mystery and expectation by covering the faces of most of the figures and just exposing one face, whose melancholic expression seems to convey the sometimes futile attempts of impressing a judge or selector during an audition.
The colour harmony and warm tones suit this dreamy image perfectly and the feather held in one of the models’ hands contrasts sharply to the impersonal numbers which all the others are holding. This leaves the image very open to the imagination and to individual interpretation.
“Portrait de l’Artiste” is a fantastic journey into classic art. The subtle, directional light coming in from the window has superbly illuminated the model’s face reflected in the oval mirror. The shy, downward glance of the model implies the uncertainty that an artist is many times faced when confronted by his blank canvas. The chiaroscuro effect, warm tones and excellent choice of props in this photograph demonstrates the heights that a photographic artist can achieve by employing his visual and mental skills to his utmost. “Teli e Toiletta” is another image which merits the same study and is in the same league as Chiara’s “Portrait de l’Artiste.”
“Tranquilize” is another work which invites the viewer to try and fathom and interpret the thoughts of the subject, whilst “Crushed Spirits” has obviously been inspired by Raphaelite art.
When viewing Chiara’s works, one cannot help (if he is sensitive and open enough to art), but feel mesmerized with each and every photograph his eyes rest upon.
To me, Chiara has superbly managed to take the right inspiration from past classical art and artists and further imbue her work with her own fantastic skills and creativity to take us on a journey of reflection, mystery and discovery.
In contrast to Chiara’s classical studied approach, Witold Flak’s (www.flak.pl ) work is surprising and, in many ways, an eye opener.
His work, in this exhibition, all in monochrome, bears the hallmark of someone who has a keen natural eye for a picture and of a photographer who is not tightly bogged down by technicalities and convention.
Flak loves working with people and his knack for handling his subjects regularly demonstrate an innate sensitivity and a great passion both for photography as well as for the human race.
Witold’s photographs show perception and unusual viewpoints. They bring joy, trigger passions and encourage dreams. By his own admission, Witold is no digital editing guru or technical wizard, but his passion for the art is incredibly inspiring and fresh to both professional as well as amateur photographers. His vision is like a breath of fresh air in what sometimes is becoming a claustrophobic and fictitious environment.
All of Flak’s work in the Cavalieri Hotel exhibition depicts the human subject.
His approach is more that of a benign predator who stalks his subject and coaxes out the expression, the angle and the mood in a non-intimidating manner. His subjects rarely show shyness – in fact, most of the expressions and body language demonstrate a sense of trust in the photographer taking their image. “Reflection” and “Thought” are two images which bear this out.
I think Witold excels when he is portraying the female form. Looking in depth into this attractive but difficult subject, Witold manages to actually highlight the respect and love he has for the female sex and glorifies his women in such a beautiful and sensual manner. “Here I am” and “White and Black” are two of his works which stand out.
In “Side by side”, in the fleeting instant of a shutter click, Witold has captured an expression that is pregnant with emotions and interpretations. The slight blur on this image adds to the mystery and questions that this photograph raises. Here Witold is again refusing to miss the crucial expression or mood of his subject, by getting entangled in obtaining the “right” technique, and his boldness has produced a very powerful journalistic image.
This is again brought out in image “The Unknown” where Witold’s choice of purposely not showing the face of his subject strongly emphasizes the mystery and ambiguity of his subject matter.
“Look” is a fine example where “less is more”. Flak’s clever cropping and choice of viewpoint and subject give this photograph much more impact by stimulating the imagination of the viewer. His unorthodox, unshackled way of capturing pictures uses the power of photography and its message-telling abilities to the best possible advantage.
His work is infectious, and inspires us to just pick up our cameras and go out there and capture the beauty, and maybe sometimes, the horrors of life.
The MIPP would like to thank the management of the Cavalieri Hotel for their kind help and sponsorship of this Exhibition
The Exhibition will be open from the 18th of August till the 30th of September.
© Kevin Casha
Master FSWPP FMIPP AMPA AMPS