The North Sea is getting closer. The first book of a young Saint Petersburg photographer Ekaterina Vasilyeva devoted to provincial England is brought out
This is the story of two years which has developed within 40 days.
The series was taken when I have been leaving Kent, where I spent two years before getting back home.
It happened that the place of exactly the last 40 days of my residence in the UK became a small town at the North Sea coast Herne Bay.
Prior to that, every weekend I went to sea on a bus from Canterbury and took long walks between coastal towns.
For me it was very symbolic as the number 40, in addition to its many sacred meanings, is considered to be the number of absolute completeness, perfection. These days helped me to comprehend and articulate my visual perception of provincial England. More precisely Kent, which was my home for two years.
The 40 days of taking pictures became to me a ritual farewell to the places where I spent so much time so interesting.
The proximity to the Sea has allowed me to observe its daily tides. Walking along the shore I could see as within an hour water has been changing its position, and after a few hours it looked quite different.
As well as the sea, we have our own internal tides. But our experiences live under their own laws, emotional ebb and flow waves follow each other, gradually calming down. This process is not smooth but rather abrupt.
In Saint Petersburg this summer will be my personal exhibition of the project.
The photos for it will be printed manually, and it sounds for me very exciting. I hope to go through the story again.
In connection with the exhibition I ran at an idea of my book. I thought that I could make an alternative exhibition of some sort.
Prints are not accessible to everybody, and I wanted to create such a book, which, if wanted, could be hung on a wall and which would give a possibility to change the photos weekly or daily.
As my story was a story about the years and the days, I remembered a calendar that was on my desk in Kent, and every day I tore a new leaf of the passing day.
As a result the book can be put on a table or hung on a wall, which creates in my opinion an interesting structure and additional interpretation of the pictures.
Since it was originally a book, and, being a librarian by profession, I read generally only paper books, for me an important point was the choice of paper for the cover. It had to be something pleasant to touch and visually aesthetic. I found what I was looking for in the Poly Velours material.
A handmade appliqué on the cover looks rather childish, but it seems to me that it best of all captures the essence of traveling, exciting discoveries, a desire to go through some kind of new experiences, even if it is just an experience of a day trip out of town.
Many people could relate this story to their own experience.
Someone, like me, is trying to understand the life in another country, experience, memorize, visualize it as best as he or she can. Someone just misses England because of working in a foreign country.
What is a leitmotif of the story, it is the desire and attempt to perpetuate (make timeless) the passing.
Ekaterina Vasilyeva «40 days of high and low tides»
(self published and printed in Saint Petersburg, 2016)
special edition of 40 copies (numbered and signed).
sise: 20 x 20 сm
handmade cover (Poly Velours 185 gsm)
40 pages (300 gsm paper)
40 black and white images
1 shell from the North Sea
© Bleek Magazine. Text & all the images: Ekaterina Vasilyeva.