This week’s Spotlight Artist is Aida Emelyanova. Of Kazakh-Russian birth, Aida is a London-based artist and graduate from Chelsea College of Art and Design, whose artwork is fast emerging as a highlight of our city’s flourishing art scene.
Aida’s works on different mediums. You may know her from her painting and sculptural heads in the gallery, but she now also touches upon the medium of photography with her upcoming show in the heart of West London’s art scene: Soho.
For Aida, art is an active process for both the artist and the viewer; it is a relationship of understanding and interpretation, a sharing of memory, space and experience that is informative. Both internally and externally.
The upcoming exhibition, called Fate and Fortune, represents a number of photographs which are based on Erotic Tarot cards. The deck was created by the Italian painter Milo Manara. The seductively alluring illustrations on the cards and its profound symbolism triggered Aida’s imagination and allowed her to view the whole concept in a different way, changing the conventional perception. Each individual card opens a new door into its enigmatic world giving ability to deeper understand the mysterious sphere of the Tarot. Aida’s attempt was to reinterpret the selected Major arcana cards via photography and set installations.
Aida transformed herself into each character of the ten selected Major Arcanas in order to convey the message behind it. Each card has a different outcome and signification. She used various sets and allowed herself to accept the transformation of her real self into various magical Tarot characters depending on a solo meaning.
Having experienced Tarot cards in many ways from mere fortune telling to conveying its mysteries through sculpting, Aida was still yearning to experience and express stronger emotions and feelings in a more contemporary approach. That was the time when she realised she had to try and see what other ways could deliver the message. She saw definite images in her mind and the only way to convey those images was via camera, thus photography. There are no rules, right or wrong, in terms of reading the cards. Anyone can read them. All one needs is intuition and inner feeling. That was how this visual story was achieved.
It can be called a feminine deck because the main character in the Erotic Tarot is a woman and the entire story is a process of development and establishing her personality. There is no need to see her face or know her name, just the fact itself of being a woman as any woman can relate to her. Her sexual energy can be shown in many ways, just like her face: a mother, predator, heartbreaker, leper, goddess, harlot, victim, winner, or warrior. Her immortal femininity deserves admiration. Via Fate and Fortune Aida is trying to bring about an ability to see in each single woman the manifestation of the female essence.
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