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Poetic Photography that Visualises Haikus

Rina Vukobratovic gives her childhood haikus a new, photographic life.

By Ruby Lennon
June 13, 2013
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By Ruby Lennon
June 13, 2013
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"For me, photography is the foundation of human freedom," says Rina Vukobratovic, the Serbian photographer and visual artist behind the series A Girl Who Sees the Lyrics. It may sound grandiose at first, but take a look at her work and you will see what she is getting at — it's a free fall through association, imagination and thought; photography of permission. There is a gentle poetic sensibility steering this series, as though adult and child artist are whispering stories to each other, or perhaps, comparing recollections.

The artist has constructed each image with explicit reference to verses from her own haiku poetry written as a girl. In 1991, the idea for this series took root after she read an article published about her childhood poems, and to prove it she used the article's name. Although she has switched the pen for the camera, Vukobratovic has sustained a through line of imagery from her initial artistic impulse to her current one, resulting in a gentle poetic dialogue between a child's imagination and an adult's understanding. Or maybe it is the other way round. "I try to give answers [about] who I am, and why I am," she explains.

This lyricism endows her images with a dynamic energy that is simply captivating — music manuscripts burst into spontaneous bloom about a mini-grand.

Battle-scarred sailing ships charge towards the windswept freedom of the household window, all on the high seas of the living room.

It is easy to see why someone creating these images would say that they "will never get tired of photography, because it contains a secret." These are images of awe, nonsense and wonder captured by a filter of love — first the child's love of the world and then the adult's love of the child.

A Girl Who Sees the Lyrics is on show at the MiCK Gallery until June 23 as part of this year's Head On Photo Festival. See more of Rina's photography at her website.

Published on June 13, 2013 by Ruby Lennon
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