Shadows on the water


This photo-shoot was a true delight! I had the please to meet the charming and gifted designer Jenni from Sparklewren and work again with the lovely Matilda from Kokoberi. And of course, I enjoyed the company of two beauties – Maria and Eli who did a great job modelling and bringing the ideas to life.

Yesterday was a day which reminded me for those very first days when I started doing photography. I would not get any sleep before a day of shoot and my fingers would be literally shaking on the day from excitement and worry whether it would all go smoothly, whether I will do well, whether the weather would be good, whether… so many ghosts haunting me in my first steps and I guess that’s the way it is with every new beginning. And it was nice to share my experiences with this wonderful creative team who have all gone through similar path. I think we discovered we are all artist by heart, with our everyday struggles and obligations, but we can and we should have those moments when we can release our creativity and just be free and enjoy the moment and that’s how the magic really happens.

It was the second time I am shooting with Eli, this time on much more professional level for both of us. She has developed her modelling skills working with the talented Siyana and other local photographers. Our second model was Maria who also did a brilliant job with the make up, she created quite edgy ‘Tim Burton-style’ look. It is the best feeling knowing you can rely on the people in your team and trust them to achieve the best possible result together. I do feel really lucky.


The IDEA: Shadows on the water

I came across the idea, hmmm… or should I say I walked across(?) on my way home. I always walk across a bridge over the canal in Leamington Spa. Until recently it was too muddy even for a walk there but as we’ve been blessed with extraordinary sunny weather this year it’s just beautiful place to be right now. So, I wanted to learn more about the canal and the stories that it may keep. I read several legends about phantoms, troubled spirits, haunting the canals in England and decided we can re-create some of them in a photographic project. Those ghosts of women who have lost a loved-one or had become victim of a vicious crime keep on re-appearing by the water unable to find peace and reminding of a world on the other side. There an interesting article on BBC on the topic – ‘Ghosts haunting our canals‘ by Richard Knight. Another source tells about the following ghost appearances:

Lady Isabel
Location: Barton Seagrave (Northamptonshire) – River Ise
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Further Comments: Floating high enough so that her feet remain dry, the shade of Lady Isabel passes quietly over the river.
Waiting Woman
Location: Belaugh (Norfolk) – Riverside
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 24 August (reoccurring)
Further Comments: A woman in a white dress is said to wait for her Viking lover by the riverside.

Elizabeth Butler
Location: Bramshot (Hampshire) – Stream running through village
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Further Comments: Elizabeth Butler drowned in the stream in 1745 and has been known to return to walk alongside the waterway.

I relate the phantoms to their symbolic representation. Ghosts in symbolism are representing a part of you that is unclear or you don’t understand – “In general, ghosts symbolises aspects of yourself that you fear. This may involve a painful memory, guilt, or some repressed thoughts.“(source) So re-creating this story about the ghosts of the canal for me is a way of telling others to let go of their fears and turn them into something creative and beautiful.We all have times when we are worried and scared but with the decision to try and get out of our comfort zone we can achieve things we never thought were possible.


One thought on “Shadows on the water

  1. Beautifully narrated Silvena! It was a pleasure as always to work with you! Love the symbolism used and how the team worked well together to bring alive the merging of the two collections – “Cloud” inspired by Wuthering Heights and “blossom”.

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