- Contemporary Visual Art for Human Rights -

Justyna Neryng

Posted on July 30 2017

To fully understand the poetic of Justyna Neryng, we need to know a little about her biography, which naturally influenced her photographic work. Polish photographer with a degree in Fine Arts

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To fully understand the poetic of Justyna Neryng, we need to know a little about her biography, which naturally influenced her photographic work. Polish photographer with a degree in Fine Arts, she grew up in a rural village just next to the Czech border and, thanks to her father, she was into photography since she was a child. Still young, she decided to move to England, where she had her daughter and she still lives and works as an artist and a single mother.
All these elements merged in her pictures, especially in the series Lost childhood, where she had the opportunity to mix different themes: in addition to the autobiographical memories of her childhood, here one can find some Polish traditions and myths, her interest for Fleming art and her love for portraits and self-portraits.
The result is a gallery of triumphal characters, captured on a neutral and undefined background, with their fantastic ‘uniforms’ and imperious look: all embodied by the artist, in some way they also represents a path through the past, but also a solemn exemplum for the present.

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Author Silvia Colombo

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L.A.: Hello Justyna, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? When and why did you choose to move to UK?
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Justyna Neryng: I was born in Poland into a creative and artistic family and grew up in a small village near the Czech border. I have spent most of my childhood playing and exploring the dark beautiful forests surrounding the village. When I turned 18, I made the decision to leave home and come to London to stay with family, go to college and work. In my early twenties after surviving a motor bike accident with my partner who unfortunately did not, I found out that I was pregnant. Few years after having my daughter Nell I moved out of London to leave in Brighton&Hove on the south coast of England where I am currently producing my work.
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L.A.: What led to you working in photography?
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Justyna Neryng: My father was a keen amateur photographer, I guess he was the person who introduced me to photography. He gave me a camera when I was really young, we went out shooting together, and we would come back and process the film and make prints in our home made darkroom.
It was a fantastic experience. Since that moment I became really interested in photography. Unfortunately few years later due to our financial situation the camera and the darkroom was no longer available to me so I decided to follow my Grandmothers dream and went on to study dress making and fashion. The second time I have come close to photography was when I was approached by an artist, photographer Tobias Slater-Hunt who asked me to model for him. Whilst doing a little bit of modelling I started to experiment with self-portraits and portraiture and I have been doing it ever since.
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Childhood Lost II │Buy it
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L.A.: Can you tell us a little about your personal project "Childhood Lost"? What led to this project?
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Justyna Neryng: "Childhood Lost" is an autobiographical project- a self-portrait in a different body. My childhood was filled with the myths of Eastern Europe, and I would spend my days roaming free among the forests and wild. Without this memory I wouldn’t be able to create "Childhood Lost ". The images are aesthetically inspired by portraiture from the Golden Age of Dutch painting. I use traditional drawing on paintings as inspiration, giving the photographs a timeless feeling. The other main component of this project, is the painstaking style and prop building, which are used to evoke different personas played out by Nell my daughter. I am currently in a process of making new costumes for part two of the series “as yet untitled” will deal more with Nell’s adolescence, she now is on the verge of being a young adult woman. It is a strange time for her, part of her still in childhood, the rest of her rushing towards the adult world “Growing up is an awfully big adventure”.

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L.A.: How your polish cultural background has influenced in your work?
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Justyna Neryng: Polish culture has not really had a great influence on my early works, other than “Childhood Lost” I suppose. I was a young woman fleeing from the boredom and limits of living in rural Poland to come to Britain for its excitement and adventure. I think I spent my formative years as an artist really embracing all that was new to me in English culture, and having access to European culture I didn't have access to in Poland. Now I have watched my daughter grow up I feel drawn back to my roots and polish culture with future visits planned to Poland to make new work and explore projects and possible collaborations.
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Childhood Lost I │Buy it
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Childhood Lost X Buy it
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L.A.: What does photography mean to you or what is your statement as a photographer?
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Justyna Neryng: It means that I want to, and know that I can, take pictures that no one else has taken before.
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L.A.: What are your future plans/projects or aspirations?
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Justyna Neryng: Apart from making costumes for the part two of Childhood Lost, I am in collaboration with Tobias Slater-Hunt on the “Skin” project that involves making large scale nude figurative portraits of people with psoriasis and print them as Cyanotypes, which is a printing process using an ultra violet light source the same as one of the treatments for psoriasis. I am also working a personal project titled ” Killer Road “for which I'm taking large format photographs of decaying flowers taken from roadside memorials, in memory of the lost lives on the roads, having lost someone loved one myself.
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Childhood Lost XIII Buy it
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Childhood Lost XI │Buy it
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BUY IT NOW View Justyna Neryng on Gallery
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Justyna Neryng http://justynaneryng.com
 
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