In summer 2007 Julija and I finally met at Lomography World Congress in London after two years of online interactions. I arrived at Trafalgar Square where I ran into her. We almost had the same haircut and decided to have pizza. She had just arrived in London moving there from St Petersburg. I was excited to meet her (Her! Wow!) because she was a big Lomo star and I was thrilled to finally talking to her in person , especially because we have collaborated already on a film swap back in 2006.
Doubles, or double exposures, is a technique when a film (negative or positive) gets exposed twice. You can collaborate of a roll of film and let someone else shoot the second layer (this process is usually know as a film swap), or make double exposures yourself, something that Juija, who is known under a nickname “neja” on Lomography, has perfected throughout the years.
So it is not surprising that it is double exposures she has decided to showcase at her first London solo show. Multiple exposures from London, which became her new adopted home, give you surrealistic and dream-like impressions of the metropolis. In her picture you can find familiar skyline floating in the clouds, or typical London’s pavement signage “Look Left”, as well as pigeons, those nasty city birds, overpowered by the layer of flowers and butterflies. One of the most stunning doubles, in my opinion, is a double exposure of a skyline over the river Thames. I first saw this image in the “Holga: Life through a plastic lens” book published by Lomographic Society International but it never ceased to impress me.
The technique of double exposure allows you to discover the world in a new way as it makes it possible to combine together all the things which you normally do not see together. Do we change our opinion about the ugly city bird if it becomes covered with beautiful flowers? Maybe…
Julija, who works as freelance photographer and book editor, opens up new worlds and lets us see something special in the things we used to seeing in our everyday live. She offers us her vision and dreams of London, the place we all thought we knew. So if you ever have the chance to meet Julija in real life – go for it! She is very energetic and inspiring.
Her exhibition takes place at Kaizo salon in Shoreditch from April 10th to May 10th 2014, Monday to Saturday 10 am to 7 pm.
Private View 10th April 2014 from 7.30 till 9.30 pm
at Kaizo salon, 67-68 Charlotte Rd, London, EC2A 3PE.
All photographs are signed limited editions printed as high quality C-type prints on Kodak Metallic paper mounted on aluminium.
copyright of all photos: Julija Svetlova