This new Ikebana series is wonderful for me, because I am allowing myself to work with whatever happens. Even if one picture seems to differ extremely from the other, I know that that is what will unify them. I want this series, in a way, to match up to the characteristics of nature. To only be concerned with growth, and to be abundant in variation and beauty. My aim is to mimic it’s tendency towards the unpredictable, along with it’s cries for elegance in it’s simplicity.
We shall see what happens.
One thing also to mention about this series is that I am trying to focus on the person in the image being part of the Ikebana piece and not separate from it. That if she was removed from the scene, the image wouldn’t be complete, and vice versa. In a way, it is my own little message about how we should live in our world.
I shot this image in Nara with my very fun model Ayako. She has appeared in my “Tales From Japan” series, and I was pleased that I was able to work with her again. (She is fabulous!)
And a little background story on the title. Reylia comes from the name “Aurelia”, which was my grandmother’s name, and it means “Gold” or “Golden one”. I have always been attracted to that color, and of lately completely enchanted by it, so for this image I thought it would be fitting.
Please enjoy the piece! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask below, or on my FB!
How can I describe what has been on my mind the past few weeks? I have been so full with thoughts that it is impossible to for me to say everything, so I end up revealing next to nothing. In a way I prefer it that way though, at least for now.
At the moment photography obviously constitutes the whole interest of my life, but I have felt the need to aim creative energy elsewhere, so I decided to choose Ikebana (生け花). Which somehow ended up going back to photography again.
Certain frustrations with myself have been piling up a little, so I’ve been falling back on the things I’ve loved most of my life. Simple things like reading or stretching can oftentimes bring me more peace of mind than anything else, so hopefully that consciously adding Ikebana to that list will be a good thing. But I don’t want to force it, either. My main source of stress has been the pressure I put on myself to produce images when I was tired or uncomfortable, so I am doing my best to avoid that. It needs to be a fun thing, and it is necessary for it to come smoothly and effortlessly. The thing you love should never be also something you can come to hate.
The meaning for this image came about as soon as I finished my Ikebana. When we do something for so long, we feel like we have reached a place when growing or getting better stops; all the flowers have already bloomed, or so to speak. But as I was arranging the flowers, I noticed that there was still one bud left. In that sense, there will be always something left to grow. There will also be winters in our lives, but we must never forget that Spring is around the corner and we will again have the freedom to blossom.
The Ume blossoms are starting to wilt. That can mean only one thing, the Sakura are now on their way.
I regularly take walks for location scouting. This particular one became a 5 hour hike up and down my mountain. I will be posting separate pictures from my adventures. But when I was walking down, I remembered that a neighbor had a beautiful Ume tree growing in her yard. These are my photos from that time.
The branches of the trees fell over the high garden wall with a graceful splendour that matched the elegance of a gentle waterfall. They danced in the breeze; releasing their petals with tender acceptance. This is what is meant to be. They are the trumpet blasters for the royal family of Springーthe Cherry Blossoms. Their sole duty of the Ume is to make it known to us that the Sakura are on the way to their kingdom. At their arrival, they will stand before us in the high tops of their palatial branches, and we will bask in their sweet magnificence. They bring peace of mind and heart; the gifts a loving king generously bestows upon his subjects. They will be ours soon, but for now we have the Ume to stand as a symbol of this beautiful promise.
I think I almost like the Ume more than the Sakura. Almost.
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My love for black and white images almost surpasses that of my conceptual ones. The reason being I have done it longer, and has become like an old friend to me. But I haven’t shown them too often before, mostly because I was afraid of it defining me. These days you are forced into one tiny box and you can’t be more than one thing or do too many things. The world demands your focus and if you have one too many passions you are disposed of. Nobody likes a jack of all trades.
I now know that what connects your art is the fact that you have created it. One type may or may not define you more, but never be afraid of loving too many things or too much. Only more love will be cultivated.
Now I have a question for you. What is your “second love”?