Sparrek, a.k.a Kylli Sparre, is fast gathering a following with her conceptualised, dream-like photography. A former dancer, her photos are heavily influenced by dance and can only be described as melancholic or symbolic. Schön! sits down with the photographer for an insight into her world.
Sparrek describes her work as ‘spontaneous’ and credits her imagination for the ideas behind her photos, which can change from somber to optimistic, hopeful or humorous: “My work is a lot about daydreaming, I try to bring out whatever is in my mind. Make it visible.” Although photography helps in keeping her imagination alive, Sparrek says: “I try to create something beautiful and I start with one image in mind and the end result is something very different.”
After years of training to become a professional ballet dancer, Sparrek realised it wasn’t the right path for her. Photography became an outlet for the former dancer and its influence can be seen in her work.
Sparrek’s photography is currently being exhibited at Somerset House until the 18th of May, after she recently won the Open Enhanced Category Winner for the Sony World photography Awards. Sparrek’s work is set apart from the rest and heavily influenced by dance. Born and raised in Tallinn, her house was next to the water which has been a regular feature in her work: “I find being near the water very calming, it is very open and peaceful, the water is so ‘open’ and ‘clean’ and it leaves a lot of room for the story.”
Of the process of making her photos, Sparrek says: “The pictures I take are inspired by my fantasy world, whatever is inside my head, I try to bring it out.” Her work uses a mixture of pastel and muted colours: “I sometimes start with one image in my mind and I go with that. Sometimes it changes and I use more bright colours and I bring the colours up and then try to mute them down so it is almost midway somewhere. It’s very spontaneous.”
Sparrek credits photography with keeping her imagination alive, as she says: “When I left ballet and started doing photography I found the particular style that I am doing now and I realised that this is what I am going to do,” but she is also planning to develop her style: “I want to work on it and make my style even more specific, it is always overwhelming if people are connected to my work and feel something about it, it is good to know and I feel that I am on the right path.”
In the last six months interest has grown in Sparrek’s photos, with exhibitions being held all over Europe, including her first exhibition in London. She is overwhelmed by the feedback she has received: “It is always overwhelming if people are connected to my work and feel something about it. If you are doing something that you are very passionate about then I don’t mind if people tell me my work is strange, because I am doing something that is important to me. I am very excited and overwhelmed by the feedback that my work has brought. It’s great.”
See Sparrek’s latest exhibition at Somerset House until the 18th of May.
Words / Tam Hashim
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