This project consists in portraits of immigrants Haitians girls living in South Brazil, produced in a co-creative way with each one of the portrayed, as a way to value their stories, beauty, expression, initiatives and creativity through art. The images were printed on fabric, and after, some of them were embroidered by hand or had embroidered pieces glued to them. It's a long project term started on 2018.
In 2016 I met a Haitian immigrant community that arrived in the South of Brazil looking for better life conditions. Whoever saw them perceived sadness, much suffering and a never ending search for some change. But I saw beyond looking at those children, especially, to the girls.
And thus this portrait project happened, starting from visits to their families, that lived under precarious life conditions. Their children, with scarce access to toys and without any conditions to participate in extracurricular activities. The girls begged with their eyes for some attention. We started with some gatherings at their houses to create this bond and playful photographic sessions. Their desire to express themselves, to play and be portrayed was latent.
This work happens in a vivid and spontaneous interaction between us. I consider it very important to get to know whoever I am shooting, to understand his or her story, way of being, dreams and ideas. The story of these girls lives is marked by courage and resilience against the destruction of their country and their transcontinental travels to find a place in the sun. This has taken me to look for an aesthetics capable of evoking their tremendous inner force, contrasted with their fragility and, at the same time, their purity and dreaming nature.
Our gatherings became creative and the girls were co-creators in the production of the photographic sessions.
The poses, thought together, came many times from their initiative. The elements we used to compose the pictures were the ones we had at hand, with an easy and no cost access. We used from plastic fruits that were there as ornaments on the tables to plants and branches found in their gardens. Blankets were stretched out on the ground, in the garage or in their backyard, and became our photographic background, and the natural light became our partner. The important thing was showing that beyond our conditions, what makes the difference in any situation of our journey is our capacity to innovate and create, and make beauty from the simple things. It is the boldest creation of an opportunity.
While I was reflecting about the act of photographing I realized some affinities with the verbs “to embroider” and “to play”. I think that it is possible to write through the stitches that appear in the revived past. The thread is made of memories brought in stories that have the freedom to change the tone, saturation, luminance, exposure, density, intensity, temper, flavour, sound and smell in accordance to the needs felt. The possibilities to its direction are infinite, after all, there are many stitches, making it possible to sew them in the most varied forms.
The path of life is not linear. Children are open to new experiences, to play and explore their imagination. And such freedom is explored in my artistic work, connecting lines, colors and textures through the handmade embroidery on the portraits printed on fabric, showing the originality behind each portrait.
I weave through the threads the connection between the portrait and the stories that belong to the girls fulfilling the role that art has: to elucidate the world so the comprehension and empathy transform freedom in equality.
Technique: Digital photography printed by sublimation on a fabric with a vibrant finish called "cacharrel" (100% polyester) dubbed with twill fabric to get firmness. These pictures are part of the serie "Inner Light" and were embroidered by hand with cotton lines. In this way, they are unique pieces. The whole printing area includes a margin of 7cm wide around the image. Its totally size are 63,7cm height by 43,7cm widht ht by 0,5cm depth including the margins.
All images are available to sell. Consult prices by sending an email to purchase them.