photo-eye Gallery Photographer's Showcase: Svjetlana Tepavcevic's Means of Reproduction — New Work photo-eye Gallery is pleased to release a new portfolio of images from Svjetlana Tepavcevic's Means of Reproduction series on the Photographer's Showcase. Tepavcevic talks about the new images with photo-eye Gallery's Erin Azouz.photo-eye Gallery is pleased to announce the release of a new portfolio of work by Svjetlana Tepavcevic, Means of Reproduction — New Work. The new images are a continuation of the series by Tepavcevic that we published last year (read the first interview we did with her on photo-eye Blog). Means of Reproduction is a vivid, colorful exploration of the world of seeds and seedpods, which hold the code for life and allude to the passage of time, death and rebirth. I asked Svjetlana to discuss some of the new photographs in this series and how the project has evolved. —Erin Azouz
Svjetlana Tepavcevic, Means of Reproduction no. 524
Svjetlana Tepavcevic: It is important to me to be aware of the world around me — not just on hikes in the wilderness, but every day, wherever I happen to be at the moment. Our environment is fascinating and enormously complex, but we mostly go through life not paying attention to its complexities. And that’s the whole point of the project — to show the essential elements of life in a new and unfamiliar way, to make people more aware of the world around them.
EA: Can you tell us about the experience of encountering some of the seed pods in this new portfolio? How and where did you find them?
ST: About half of the images in this new portfolio are of the seeds and seed pods I found, mostly going about my daily life, in totally unadventurous scenarios, such as picking up clothes at dry cleaners, where I found the silver maple samaras. The Japanese maple is from my neighborhood.
|Svjetlana Tepavcevic, Means of Reproduction no. 905|
(CORNUS FLORIDA, American dogwood)
Japanese dogwood is another amazing little tree near my house, right by my mailbox. I tried getting its little fruits before but wasn’t successful — they were just high enough to be out of reach. And there are always a bunch of bees buzzing around. It turns out its fruits are delicious and edible, and highly popular among birds, squirrels and bees. Last year, I brought my step ladder and didn’t leave until I had something. And it’s one of the most fascinating seed pods, whose details I only saw after I made a high resolution scan. And notice the similarities and differences between American and Japanese dogwood. Of course, online, we are missing the scale of the print and its physicality. The small print is 17 by 17 inches, on smooth cotton matte paper.
|Svjetlana Tepavcevic, Means of Reproduction no. 8142 |
(ACACIA NILOTICA, Scented thorn)
The other half of the images in this new portfolio was contributed by two of my close friends, who are based in California, and whom I met in our very first photography class at UCLA Extension. I have to say their contribution is invaluable to me, and I very much welcome their help. My friend, Mireya, who is an avid gardener, reaches across people’s fences to steal iris pods for me, and spots amazing trees such as ACACIA NILOTICA, scented thorn tree, an African tree growing at the Palm Springs Zoo.
Left: Means of Reproduction no. 12272 (IRIS ENSATA, Japanese iris)
Right: Means of Reproduction no. 12273 (IRIS ENSATA, Japanese iris)
EA: You've included several diptychs in this new portfolio compared to the last one. Has your interest grown in the transformative qualities of the seeds and seedpods over time?
Svjetlana Tepavcevic(ASTRAGALUS POMONENSIS, Pomona milkvetch)
Means of Reproduction no. 116
A seed pod I like very much is the very small, golden papery pod from California desert, a species of locoweed (astragalus). I like it for its simplicity and near perfection. And because it reminds me of the landscape I love. Some seeds from this family of plants are poisonous.
The diptych shows a pod from the same plant, only it has decayed much more. We are looking at two sides of the same pod, and yet they are two entirely different landscapes. Decay is interesting to me because it symbolizes impermanence, pointing to the fact that life and death are a continuum.
|Svjetlana Tepavcevic, Means of Reproduction no. 1151 & no. 1152, diptych (ASTRAGALUS POMONENSIS, Pomona milkvetch)|
The last diptych in the portfolio shows two acorns with new sprouts. I think these are California oak acorns. This is the only instance in the project where we see new life emerging from the seeds. I don’t know why one seed has red and the other green flesh. Red and green are opposites, they complement each other. Again, that duality we so often encounter in life. When I originally sequenced this portfolio, I began with the decaying golden pod and ended with the California oak diptych. I chose to end the portfolio with the emergence of new life.
|Svjetlana Tepavcevic, Means of Reproduction no. 14132 & no. 11431, diptych (QUERCUS LOBATA, valley oak)|
View Svjetlana Tepavcevic's new portfolio, Means of Reproduction – New Work
For more information about Svjetlana Tepavcevic's work, or to purchase a print, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 505-988-5152 ext. 202.
Read more about Svjetlana Tepavcevic on photo-eye Blog