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Olivia Milani
Olivia Milani
Olivia Milani

Olivia Milani

Country: Switzerland
Birth: 1984

Artist and photographer Olivia Milani has been captivated by images and the power of visual language since she can remember.
Olivia studied photography at Central Saint Martins in London, graduating with a Postgraduate degree in Photography.
Through her curious, inquisitive and lyrical looking, she creates subtle, open narratives that usually develop into long term projects. Travel is an important source of inspiration for her work. As much as representing outer places or destinations, her dreamlike images conjure inner landscapes suggestive of internal states and the fluidity of emotions.
Partly constructed, partly simply observed or gathered as they happen in the moment, her images are often situations encountered by chance which she then invests with symbolism, mythological and literary references.
Her work has been exhibited internationally and she has enjoyed collaborations with many gifted artists. Growing up in the context of a multicultural background in the Italian speaking region of Switzerland, she lives and works in London, England and feels at home in the world.
Olivia sees photography as a tool for outer and inner exploration and discovery. Approaching her work with serious playfulness, she likes to let its meaning unfold.

Eastern Winds
Eastern Winds is about a journey of tracing my roots and reconnecting the fragmented aspects of my family past. It all started when I opened an old suitcase filled with photographs and letters - the remnants of my grandmother Lydia's life in Russia. The photographs were mainly portraits from 19th and 20th century Russia. Their soulful and enigmatic quality captured me immediately and led me on a voyage, first inner and imaginary, and eventually outer - like following a river back to it's source, I decided to travel to Russia.

Starting in Moscow, I crossed the country by land, from West to East, travelling along the Trans-Siberian railway route all the way to Siberia, that to me felt like the far northern edges of the world. As I was travelling through the immense vastness of the endless Russian plains, I was imagining the lives and destinies of my ancestors. A great stillness stretched around me and it felt as if the limitlessness of these landscapes was re-shaping my inner geography, linking me back to the continuum of my ancestral connections.

My grandmother Lydia was born in Moscow to a Russian mother and Swiss father. All I know is that during the time of the political turmoil of the Russian Revolution her family got torn apart and she had to flee Russia over night. She was 20 and travelled to Switzerland on a cargo train with one sister. She never saw her family and homeland again.

These images are a way of weaving back together the broken threads of my family history - a tapestry composed of lost and found family photographs, untold stories and memories half vanished through time.
An act of remembrance and a way of reappropriating my family history and transnational heritage.
Blending the pictures I took during the journey with the photographs of my ancestors is an attempt of linking past and present together, one family member to another, one generation to another. Reconnecting to the ancestors returns us to the river of life that flows from the past into the present moment to nourish us.
 

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Isabeau De Rouffignac
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Simon Roberts
United Kingdom
1974
Simon Roberts is a British photographic artist based in Brighton, UK. Often employing expansive landscape photographs, his approach is one of creating wide-ranging surveys of our time, which communicate on important social, economic and political issues. Roberts has been exhibited widely with We English touring to over thirty national and international venues. He’s had solo shows at the National Media Museum, Bradford, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, and been included in numerous group exhibitions. Recent shows include Observers: British Photography and the British Scene (From the 1920s to Now) at Galeria de Arte SESI, Brazil, and Landmark: The Fields of Photography at Somerset House, London. His photographs reside in major public and private collections, including the George Eastman House, Deutsche Börse Art Collection and Wilson Centre for Photography. In recognition for his work, Roberts has received several awards including the Vic Odden Award (2007) - offered for a notable achievement in the art of photography by a British photographer, along with bursaries from the National Media Museum (2007), John Kobal Foundation (2008) and grants from Arts Council England (2007, 2010, 2011, 2014). He was commissioned as the official Election Artist by the House of Commons Works of Art Committee to produce a record of the 2010 General Election on behalf of the UK Parliament. In 2012 he was granted access by the International Olympic Committee to photograph the London Olympics and most recently was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, UK (2013). He has published three critically acclaimed monographs, Motherland (Chris Boot, 2007), We English (Chris Boot, 2009) - voted by Martin Parr as one of the best photography books of the past decade - and Pierdom (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2013). One commentator has described his photographs as “subtle in their discovery and representation of forms of cultural character, which, upon closer inspection, reveal a richness of detail and meaning. They exhibit a disciplined compositional restraint, a richness of palette, and a wealth of narrative incident. Also represented by MC2 Gallery
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