Interview Feature with Laura Makabresku

Laura Makabresku is a photographer based out of Poland
who captures beautiful imagery of dreams, fairy tales and the unknown.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Brzesko, a very small town in Poland. Most of my childhood was spent in the country at my grandparents place, where I was mainly playing alone in forests or playing with cats. Later I moved to Cracow to study. I still live in Cracow and am now just looking for some work here- and am now starting to study philosophy.

When did you start taking photographs?
I started to take photos when I was in high school, when I met my Lad, who gave me my first camera.
Did you always want to be a photographer, or did you ever have another career-path chosen?
In high school, I wrote lots of poems. I still dream about writing, but now I find I am more attracted to fairy tales- surrealistic stories or prose, rather than poems. To write poems you have to be very mature and distanced from yourself, because if not you'll probably fall into graphomania- (compulsive or impulsive need to write).

Besides all this, I've always dreamt about making a short movie. Movies are strongly connected with photography and they present many more opportunities and possibilities that can be explored. Anyway, I don't see these forms of art as a career for me. They are more like passions and expressions of my dark side, which can be evoked through my work. They give a voice to emotions and fears, which would otherwise, eat me from inside.
When I look at your images, they seem ethereal and mystical, but seem to have this very dark and emotional undertone. You've said before that you are inspired by sensitivity and darkness...has this always been the case? If so, where do you think this inspiration comes from? And do you think your images have always portrayed these undertones?
Yes, I think this has always been the case. Sometimes, mainly at the beginnings of my writings, this darkness and sensitivity displays different forms of articulation. In time; present form emerged. This is because I think a lot about things; about darkness, God, happiness, and about being myself... these thoughts help me mold my feelings; this darkness, and express sensitivity on many physical layers. Through the mediums of photography, poems, fairy tales and stories, I can express these feelings and thoughts.

I think that my photographs have always portrayed such undertones, but it's clear that within the past three years, they have taken more to these themes. My photographs speak to me intuitionally, in such a way that they are on a specific layer or plane-seperate from normal grounds of communication. I feel as though the images should be explored internally- they should not only be seen, but felt and understood; the darkness and emotional qualities should be explored and discovered. Taking photos of such undertones is not only a goal but also a reason. It helps me to understand and identify some feelings and symbols that live in me and that are not expressible in conventional words.  I think that inspiration comes from looking at things un a different level- in a way that you don't see them at all- you just see the tender space ahead and behind things, life, words, time, actions, not only them itself. And when You can see such things, this reality can frighten you, but it can also give you inspiration. As Nietzsche said: when you look long into an
abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

Were you self-taught or have you attended any classes or school for photography?
I'm a self-taught person. I try to take photos intuitionally. I recently started to treat my photographs as paintings. I want them to be soft, full of light or darkness, fluid, and so you can feel the ways of my imagination.
Other than taking photographs, how do you pass the time?
 Recently, a majority of my time is spent studying literature. Now there will be work and other studies. Besides that, all of my days and nights are spent with my Lad - without him I can easily fall into cruel fears, which won't let me perform any basic life activities (even sleeping.. or maybe mostly they won't let me sleep?). I read books, write, blog, listen to music and go for long walks- (mostly to forests or the city cemetery). I spend a lot of time imagining and thinking about things which do not exist (linked with magic, fairy tales, dreams).

Are you currently working on any new projects?
I'm dealing now with my first photo exhibition in Poland (Węglowa, Białystok), which will take place in the end of August. Besides that,  I am preparing a series of photos about shaman and lunatic dances for a contest linked with topic of dance. But, new photos are always being taken because I have camera always with me.. and there are usually more then less emotions in me.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
 I don't know. I still have this impression that I don't really, truly exist. I'm very cloistered in my world of fairy tales and forests. I'm a part of night. I'm now few steps prior to death. So maybe I'll be there in a five years time? It seems to me increasingly possible. This is why I try to take so many photos, as much as I can, to write so much. Time is chasing me. Death calls me.
Who are your favorite photographers?
 Recently: photos of F. Woodman, E. Plongeon, and A. Scarpulla.
Do you have a favorite camera that you shoot with?
I really like zenith -I have few of them in my collection. I often use canon 50e too. I dream about Lomo LC-A and intend to buy one soon.
Do you have a favorite image that you've shot? If so, which one is it, and why is it your favorite?
Yes, I have. This image (above). It is very close to me, because when I was growing up, I often dreamed that I met this animal in the forest, which was hurt or dead- and due to my care, regained life. And someone, maybe nature itself, wanted to repay me for this good deed, and turned this animal into my Lad.  Dreams have came to life finally - I met my R. (and to him I dedicate this photograph).
Are there any places you've always wanted to travel to?
 I'd like to go to the ocean. I've never seen the sea or ocean. I've had lots of dreams about them, but it's simply not the same as actually digging your feet into the sand and water. Lastly, when I think about my (our - with R.) death, I imagined our grave - heaped up with shells. It'd be a very beautiful grave. Beautiful as our death. Sensitive.

You can view more of Laura's work on her flickr or blog.


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Feature: Glass Negatives (France 1880's)

Whilst I move about, I was given these gorgeous glass plate negatives. In a small box and with the chemicals peeling on the faces of some, I photographed them all, converted and to my surprise, found some beautiful work. These are glass plate collodion negatives and the photographic process and clothing dates them to roughly 1870-1890. I really enjoy these shots, may you enjoy them as well.

If you decide you'd like to see the rest of them, you can click here :)

The Wrong Way: The Work of (bis)

More more from (bis) can be found on Flickr.

Bears In America - Bear Tracks

Bears in America - Bear Tracks EP
Genre: Ambient, Experimental

PS: HIBERN8SHN ENDS, a digital 7", will be available this summer. Keep checking here.