The experience of time, feeling of longing for something, and intimacy are three major themes in the work of our Hero of the Week, Slovakia-born Tereza Cervenova. Now living and working in London, she takes us to a world full of feelings which are effectively merged with her photographs in the very basic level. The longer you look at them, the more you love them. You really should keep an eye on her works!
Please tell us a little about yourself, where you are from, and what you do.
I am a photographer, originally from Slovakia, currently living and working in London. I graduated from BA Photography from Middlesex University in 2014 and since then I have been working as a freelance photographer and photographer’s assistant full time alongside working on my personal projects.
How would you personally describe your style of photography? What message/s do you try to convey through your images?
I use photography as an artistic medium to translate my thoughts and feelings into visual images. The experience of time, feeling of longing for something, and intimacy are three major themes in my work. Despite the fact that personal experiences have played a huge role in the development of my practice, it has always been very important to me that the work goes beyond the personal, and becomes something almost anonymous that anyone can reach and associate with. With meanings hidden in the ordinary, I strive to create images which are timeless and open. I want them to have that something that gets under the skin and the longer you look at it, the more you can find.
Which elements of shooting film are you drawn to the most?
I like the fact that I have to focus; it slows everything down, it becomes about the trust, and it is a lot more intimate. The quality of film still isn’t replicable by digital cameras and there is this tangibility of the negative and darkroom print, which both give the work depth and value.
What would you say is your greatest inspiration?
My close ones and what happens between us. My ultimate muse is my younger brother Adam.
Name someone whose art makes you shiver.
Van Gogh, Max Richter, Wolfgang Tillmans.
If you had to choose a camera + film to shoot with for the rest of your life, which combo would it be and why?
Medium format rangefinder Mamyia 7ii + KODAK Portra 400. It was a little bit difficult for me to get used to the rangefinder but as soon as I understood it, it gave me some wonderful images whose intimacy and quality is irreplaceable.
Do you remember the photo you took that made you feel proud for the first time? Can you share it with us?
It’s a photograph of Maria, for my series Identity. With that portrait, I felt I had captured her real self and the struggle that she went through as well as understanding between the two us.
If you could time travel to the past and be the assistant of a great photographer, who would it be?
Julia Margaret Cameron.
If you had to choose a movie that defines you both, personally and aesthetically, which one would it be?
Blue by Krzysztof Kieslowski.
At Whattaroll, we believe that inspiration can come from many different sides. Can you write down and share with us a paragraph from the book you’re reading at the moment?
At the moment I am reading Immortality by Milan Kundera and here are few lines from the book that I wrote down into my notebook as I was reading it:
Page 35: If you love somebody, you love his face and then it becomes totally different from everyone else’s.
Page 64: In the algebra of love a child is the symbol of the magical sum of two beings.
Page 145: Eroticism is like a dance, one always leads the other.
Page 149: The emotion of love gives us a misleading illusion of knowing the other.
Describe your shooting routine.
I get my camera ready, my light meter ready, and my films ready. Then, it’s about the subject and me and the light. No routine, really.
Speaking of portraits, who’s the face you’d love to photograph but haven’t had the chance to have in front of your camera yet?
Who do you think we should feature in the next Hero of the Week section?
See more of Tereza’s work in the links below: