Yelena Zhavoronkova: Grana
Yelena Zhavoronkova’s Grana series is an elegant study of plants found locally in Northern California’s, Lake County. Individual specimens were chosen for their ability to outlast sustained periods of drought while holding for the correct moment to dispatch their seeds. In harsh conditions, this window may be short. In these images, the delicate use of light and minimalist styling contrast the rugged function of each plant. The shapes, forms, and textures that we see were created out of necessity. The purpose for this minute architecture is survival and reproduction. Zhavoronkova recognizes and focuses on this phenomenon in a visual style reminiscent of the botanical studies of Anna Atkins and Karl Blossfeldt. The careful treatment of her subjects is meant to emphasize the intrinsic beauty of these naturally occurring forms.
Yelena Zhavoronkova is a California based Fine Art Photographer and Graphic Designer. She received a Master’s degree in Industrial Design from the St. Petersburg Academy of Art and Industry, and has worked as a graphic designer for over three decades. Over the past few years, Yelena has been intensively studying and working in photography, which helps her to express her artistic vision. Yelena’s projects are simultaneously very personal and universal in nature, speaking to the viewers on an intimate level that is familiar to all. Since 2010 her projects were exhibited in de Young Museum of Arts, City Hall of San Francisco, RayKo Photo Center of San Francisco, Blue Sky Gallery of Portland, and many other galleries around the United States and in Europe. Her works were published in the online edition of The New Yorker magazine, featured in Shutterbug magazine, and Transformation literary journal. She is represented by Anzenberger Gallery in Vienna, Austria and She is represented by Anzenberger Gallery in Vienna, Austria and Corden|Potts Gallery of San Francisco, CA.
Grana (Latin for “seeds”) was inspired by the five-year-long span of severe drought in Northern California and its effect on nature. Over many generations these plants developed special ways to survive by creating strong vessels to hold and protect their seeds, until the time to release them into the ground was exactly right. While working on the imagery for the Grana series I was admiring the beauty of those creations, concentrating on the amazingly intricate details that each contains.
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