An interview with photographer Valeria Shurko.
What initially sparked your interest in pursuing art, and how has your journey evolved since then?
My interest in photography was sparked by the fact that I liked to convey and express emotions, character and personality of people through photography. Also, in my photographic works I tried to reflect the psychology and spiritual world of girls who became my muse, not just models.
The path of development in photography is said to be unpredictable and unique to me as an artist. Starting with simple compositions I moved on to complex colour and lighting solutions. In addition, I wanted to look at the essence and reflect life stories through portraits. The work became deeper, more creative and emotional.
I wanted to look at the essence and reflect life stories through portraits.
Can you tell us about a specific piece of your artwork that holds particular significance to you, and what inspired its creation?
Portraits, which I have titled "Eyes Mirror the Soul" hold a special place in my work. Through these pictures I wanted to convey that fragile moment when a man tries to capture the whole world with his gaze, that's why wishes arise - goldfish that can fulfil them. The main thing is to dispose of them correctly. It took a long time to work on the series, because I wanted to learn about the innermost dreams of the girl who became my muse.
I wanted to convey that fragile moment when a man tries to capture the whole world with his gaze, that's why wishes arise - goldfish that can fulfil them.
How do you navigate the balance between staying true to your artistic vision and experimenting with new techniques or styles?
I try to incorporate elements that inspire and adapt them to my own ideas. This can be new colour schemes, outfits, styles of props, etc. Of course, I don't expect to create something completely unique right away. It is important for me to constantly learn, grow and improve.
It is important for me to constantly learn, grow and improve.
What role do you believe art plays in society, and how do you envision your work contributing to the artistic dialogue?
I believe that art is the mouthpiece of our world. Through art you can make yourself known and draw the attention of thousands or millions of people to the problems that are acute in today's world. Through my art I want to convey that any girl who is engaged in an important professional activity such as a doctor, journalist, actress or law enforcement officer is capable of being not just beautiful, but powerful.
Through my art I want to convey that any girl who is engaged in an important professional activity such as a doctor, journalist, actress or law enforcement officer is capable of being not just beautiful, but powerful.
Are there any upcoming projects or themes that you're excited to explore in your future artworks, and if so, what draws you to these ideas?
I would love to create a project that reflects female strength and resilience after enduring life's challenges, such as battling a serious illness, racial oppression, or military escalation. In all these situations, girls retain their strength of spirit, their faith in their good deeds and that is where their beauty is found.
How do you hope your art will impact viewers, and what message or emotion do you aspire to convey through your creative expressions?
Through the photographic art of portrait photography of my models, or rather I used to call them muses, I emphasize the natural beauty of confidence and the moment of self-expression. Through photography, you can show each girl's personality and unique features. It can pique the interest of the viewers and bring a fresh perspective on what it means to be "beautiful". The viewer may perceive these emotions as related to their personal experiences, evoking empathy or understanding. Some photographs can tell stories about the girls' lives and culture, allowing viewers to enter their world. Such photographs can create empathy and promote diversity and community, in addition everyone sees some subtext or symbolism in them, which can trigger thoughts and conversations among viewers.