The haze of uncertainty, which came with the advent of the pandemic and the subsequent Ukrainian war, swept over photographer Tetyana Maryshko, so much so that it led her to create a long-lasting photographic project in which she relentlessly searches for her own essence. Through a path made of honesty to herself, the Ukrainian photographer explores her inner self by making self-shots in which she blends personal and relational elements. “There is me, the camera and the truth,” says the artist.
Each photograph captures a reflection, a conversation, a still moment in time that dialogues with her soul. The shots, in black and white and color, attempt to go beyond the aesthetics of the subject by applying a veil of blurring that prevents the image from being clearly read, or by inserting textured surfaces in front of the lens, such as wet glass or bubble wrap. At other times, however, the photograph is clear and sharp, such as her shot in the bathtub, which hints at suffering. The gaze is lost in emptiness, the flushed eyes exude weeping and despair while the tight lips communicate helplessness, that feeling that every human being feels in the face of war.
An element that recurs often in Tetyana Maryshko’s is the flower, placed in dialogue with the body: placed along the spine or in front of the eyes, to cover the gaze, symbolizing a desire for rebirth. Tetyana tells how it was a long, difficult and troubled journey: “When we turn the camera toward ourselves, we embark on a journey of self-discovery that requires introspection and vulnerability… In the end, this project was not just a personal journey, but a universal one. A testimony to the human experience.”