In my practice I am using photography to communicate in visual ways the important environmental ideas that benefit from using the photographic approach. I am focusing on environmental landscapes, travel imagery and fine art works that could enhance our understanding of the ecosystems through the use of ‘Goethean science’, i.e. more focused appreciation of the sensory experiences from the natural world, examining the colours, shapes, moods, impressions. My works should be seen in the context of an environmental and landscape narrative, focusing on the sublime qualities in a landscape, drawing inspiration in the art of early 20th century.
Thus recently, I had a unique opportunity to present my thinking and visual art at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change that took place in Bonn. I I posted the video from the press-conference and wrote about it in my blog: https://environmenteurope.wordpress.com/2017/12/10/environment-europe-cop23/ The international exposure I was able to receive will undoubtedly help in securing future exhibitions and publications. At the same time, I had my image and article published in the Resurgence, which was also reflected in my journal: https://environmenteurope.wordpress.com/2017/12/24/pulau-redang-resurgence_mag/ My award-winning images has been published in a huge spread by the Guardian: https://environmenteurope.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/cartagena-guardian/
I have intensified efforts to promote my photography in the world of fashion by using it to design scarfs and other fashion accessories. My newly built website now has a section for fashion accessories: http://stanislav.photography/
Just a few days ago I have been invited by the United Nations to organize a panel on sustainable urban development at the World Urban Forum taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in February 2018.
I am collaborating with colleagues to produce my MA ‘magnum opus’ – a photo book. The most important task in front of me as I see it now is editing the material that has been shot already, arranging in into convincing series focusing on different ways we relate to the ecosystems, be it direct consumption of fruit or inspiration received by the artists from being immersed in a particular progress. I find editing my own work incredibly difficult, because it is often not clear how the series would benefit from an inclusion of a particular image or how should the sequencing be arranged. I am pleased how the collaborative part of this work is going since I’m collaborating with experienced book designers who are helping me to see the different options in the layout, page sizes, margins, fonts, even page colour, page margins and so on.
In my practice, I am not trying to show the negative aspects of our environmental impacts: plastic bottles on the beach or dead birds affected by the oil spills. I am focusing on the pristine nature, the rare, the beautiful, the unique, as well as trying to tell the wider story of the ecosystems and our relationship with them in a visual way. My aim is to make sure that the images I include in the book are not mere illustrations to the concepts described there, but the fine are photography works with some intrinsic value.
My main plans for 2018 include the preparation of my photobook, several shows, including a forthcoming show in Dubai and building stronger links with institutions that could exhibit my work.
Image (c) Dr Stanislav Shmelev