Neryng, a multi award winning photographer, latest series of works commands a hunting expression of the self, fantasy and theatricality. In a collaborative project with her daughter, Neryng’s Childhood Lost series ‘is an ongoing project exploring the nature of portraiture and memory.’ Neryng’s tondo compositions, which capture a cold saturated portrait of her youthful daughter in captivating and highly intricate costumes, isolates the idea of infantile story telling and fantasy to an exceptionally mature degree. An odd gravitas is established in these portraits despite being essentially a range of court characters from infantile nostalgia and myths. This serves to further twists and subvert the idea of childhood in conjunction to Neryng’s highly posed invocations to classical heroes and monumentalised figures. Taking her daughter as her muse, Neryng’s beautiful story enacts ideas of memories through photography.
“Childhood Lost is an ongoing project exploring the nature of portraiture and memory. As a single mother I have found myself exploring notions and representations of childhood. I see my daughter’s experiences of growing up in urban England conflicting with my own experiences of growing up in rural Poland. I must confess that my own childhood is not a source of many happy memories, perhaps the most resonant of which are the times I escaped to a world of fantasy played out in the forests surrounding my home village of Chelmsko. Watching my daughter grow up has in a sense held a mirror to my own memories of the past while experiencing her childhood dreams enacted through play, and story telling. I find myself in a strange place where I can experience my own memories as well as see my daughter’s childhood through my adult eyes.
It is these notions I am seeking to explore with the Childhood Lost project. Interweaving childhood nostalgia with the stories and myths of my Polish childhood and those that I share with my essentially British daughter. The project is using these ideas to produce a series of portraits that evoke characters that populate this world we know as childhood. A court of characters from myth and dreams. The images are aesthetically inspired by portraiture from the Golden Age of Dutch painting. By drawing on paintings as inspiration I am hoping to give a timeless feel to the final images. Also key to the project is also the painstaking styling and prop building, which I am using to evoke these different persona played out by my daughter.
I want to develop the series in to a substantial set of portraits of my daughter playing the characters of childhood, as well as producing more elaborate set pieces embracing a theatricality that would take the project to the next level. Subject to funding it would also be a dream of mine to be able to revisit the forests of my own childhood and produce work there.”
I am beautiful, you say, sublime, Black and crystal as a Winter’s night, With lips like rubies, cabochon, My eyes deep blue as sapphires. I cannot blame you for your praise: You took me for my beauty, after all; A jewel in a casket, still as death, A lovely effigy, a Prince’s prize, The fairest in the land.
But you woke me, or your horses did, Stumbling as they bore me down the path, Shaking the poisoned apple from my throat. And now you say you love me, and would wed me For my beauty’s sake. My cursed beauty. Will you hear now why I curse it? It should have been my mother’s – it had been, Until I took it from her.
I was fourteen, a flower newly blown, My mother’s faithful shadow and her joy. I remember combing her hair one day, Playing for love her tire-woman’s part, Folding her thick hair strand over strand Into an ebon braid, thick as my wrist, And pinned it round and round her head Into a living crown. I looked up from my handiwork and saw Our faces, hers and mine, caught in the mirror’s eye. Twin white ovals like repeated moons Bright amid our midnight hair. Our eyes Like heaven’s bowl; our lips like Autumn berries. She frowned a little, lifted hand to throat. Turned her head this way and then the other. Our eyes met in the glass.
I saw what she had seen: her hair white-threaded, Her face and throat fine-lines, her eyes softened Like a mirror that clouds and cracks with age; While I was newly silvered, sharp and clear. I hid my eyes, but could not hide my knowledge. Forty may be fair; fourteen is fairer still. She smiled at my reflection, cold as glass, And then dismissed me thankless.
Not long after, the Huntsman came, bearing A knife, a gun, a little box, to tell me My mother no longer loved me. He spared me, though, Unasked, because I was too beautiful to kill. And the seven little men whose house I kept that Winter and the following year, They loved me for my beauty’s sake, my beauty That cost me my mother’s love.
Do you think I did not know her, Ragged and gnarled and stooped like a wind-bent tree, Her basket full of combs and pins and laces? Of course I took her poisoned gifts. I wanted To feel her hands combing out my hair, To let her lace me up, to take an apple From her hand, a smile from her lips, As when I was a child. — Snow White To The Prince, by Delia Sherman.
“La Morrigan” - Oil and gold leaf on wooden board - 21,6/17,7”
This illustration will be part of the exhibition “Quoth the Raven”, visible in Seattle from january 11th in the Krab Jab Studio. A show with the participation of : Drew Tucker, Echo Chernik, Jeff Menges, Olivier Villoingt, Samuel Araya, Socar Myles, Stephanie Law, Allen Williams and more —-> http://www.krabjabstudio.com/
The Fine Art prints of ”La Morrgian” are available here:
“La Morrigan” - Huile et feuille d’or sur plaque de bois - 45/55cm
Cette illustration fera partie de l’exposition “Quoth the Raven”, visible à Seattle à partir du 11 janvier dans la galerie Krab Jab Studio. Un show qui réunira notamment : Drew Tucker, Echo Chernik, Jeff Menges, Olivier Villoingt, Samuel Araya, Socar Myles, Stephanie Law, Allen Williams et bien d’autres —-> http://www.krabjabstudio.com/
Les tirages d’Art de “La Morrigan” sont disponibles ici :
To see more photos and videos from Hobbiton, explore the Middle Earth location page.
Ever since English author J.R.R. Tolkien first published his fantasy novel, The Hobbit, in 1937, readers around the world have been enchanted by the sprawling landscapes of Middle Earth. Nearly seventy years later in 2001, director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film series brought Tolkien’s world to life on the silver screen. With much of the film shot in New Zealand, the country has come to be known as the “Home of Middle Earth.”
Over 250 locations throughout New Zealand were used in the production of the films, taking full advantage of the diversity in the country’s landscape. From expansive fields and lush farmlands to snow-capped mountains, New Zealand’s features opened ample opportunities to make Middle Earth real.
With the release of The Hobbit film series, the sets from Hobbiton—home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins—have been reconstructed and are open to tourists. Instagrammers from around the world have come to explore and share photos and videos from their time in Tolkien’s world.