So here I am FINALLY blogging again with a brand new post. It has been a very slow few weeks for me despite London and Paris Fashion week and all the wonderful events that are attached to this time of year. I made a conscious decision not to attend Paris Fashion Week as I had to move out of my house and find a new place to call a home! I didn't and somehow felt that my little bubble that I am surrounded by to which I call life was tumbled upside down! Clothes in bags (and by bags I mean 5 massive bags), sewing machine packed and I looked at all my belongings wondering how the hell did I accumulate all of what I see in front of my eyes when 9 months ago I arrived to London with one suitcase! I must admit without my wonderful friends and people who I adore that have made my time in London one fantastic ride, I don't know where my clothes and myself would be right now. One week later and it wasn't until today that I received the wonderful news of one home coming through and now I have a room which I will be moving into in a few weeks.... Phhhheeeeeeeewwwwwww!
Between me running around viewing places, getting screened and questioned by potential future flatmates and getting lost along the way, I managed to escape reality for a mere second and head to The Book Club to view BIOLUMINESCENCE an exhibition by the talented Mila Nesterova. I have always had an extreme fascination with fluorescent and UV lights and recall a few years back a friend of mine and myself were part of an exhibition and created a fluorescent stole as a take on fur stoles. It was surrounded by UV lights and the effect the stole had, was incredible! (I am going to have to dig deep and try to find a photo to post)
Mila explains 'On stage everything is exaggerated and lighting enhances the visual aspect of the performance, adding color and depth. I am fascinated by UV lights and how they transform everything into a dazzling explosion of colour. Everything looks more interesting, and fascinating shadows and flickers of light give objects and people more depth’
I quite understand exactly what Mila means as every time I snapped a photo, the explosions of colour was amazing and it made me want to look at her photographs even more and try find things that I might have missed. The exhibition is a powerful and exhilarating study of experimental ultraviolet lighting effects. It includes fashion and still life images, the latter being shown for the very first time. Taking from what the French call ecrire avec la lumiere translated as writing with the light, Mila Nesterova calls herself an ‘explorer of light’.
The exhibition had two parts, BIOLUMINESCENCE Fashion and nature. I was quite fascinated when I stepped downstairs to view the rest of the pieces to find that Mila had also included light installations and colour projectors that added a whole new dimension to the way I was viewing things. I was immersed in spots of colour, colourful shapes, projected images and it extenuated the whole experience to a completely new level. I love the way Mila is very passionate about light as we can all find new meaning is most of her work.
Originally conceived as a fashion story, BIOLUMINESCENCE has brought together a myriad of ideas. From a childhood spent on stage and backstage touring with her mother’s ballet school, Mila has been profoundly inspired by theatrical costumes, stage lighting and the extravagant enthusiasm of Russian ballet. Drawing on this, and her mother’s artistic spirit for inspiration, Mila set out to create a magical kaleidoscope of colours, textures and hidden meanings.
In nature bioluminescent organisms glow to attract others or to protect against predators. Mila’s surreal characters do just that – attract attention while at the same time hide their true identities under vibrant make up and clothing. Showcasing avant-garde fashion designers such as Bernard Wilhelm, Pam Hogg, Andrew Logan, Craig Lawrence, Holly Fulton, Manish Arora, Kokon to Zai and Jeremy Scott, Mila’s world in BIOLUMINESCENCE has a surreal dreamlike quality with a slightly sinister edge. Not everything in the dark is what it seems...
As for BIOLUMINESCENCE Nature Mila Applied her lighting experiments and newfound photography technique, Mila takes the concept of nature mortes to the extreme in the second part of the exhibition. In her new work, market produce is magnified tenfold and highlighted with UV lighting until it looks zombie-like, surreal and almost radioactive - a far cry from what nature has created.
Presented as a critique of contemporary lifestyle, it shows creatures such as shellfish and vegetables outside their natural surroundings, dazed and confused in modern neon lit world. Here, ginger takes on strange, human like forms and shellfish look like high-fashion stars on the cover of the latest style bible. Mila makes a tongue-in-cheek statement about the zombie-like reality in which we rely heavily on modern technology and are often pre-occupied with the pursuit of fame, money, status and artificial beauty.