At EAGER we frequently browse the internet in search of great photo series. Some of them catch your interest instantly and make your day a bit brighter. Exactly how we found the photo series 'Missing Garden' from photographer Dominik Smialowski. We asked Dominik to share some backgrounds on this series.
Why did you choose this subject?
I've been always interested in the topic of childhood, so this project was a natural to me. The subject of the work is very personal and treats about the thin, (almost) invisible border between being a child and being an adult. A border that I might have rather not crossed. What is left from our childhood once we are adults? We arrive in a world that represents a race for money, for more, better, higher. This project has been created to reflect whether or not it is worth to consider the world from the perspective of a child. It's about longing for naturalness. The adult world is artificial. We play the role that society expects us to. The world of children is real. Personally, that's what I miss. I don't claim that the world of children is smooth but they have real problems. Our 'adult' pursuit for money makes us enter into a role. We are not ourselves anymore, we become the personification of these roles.
How did your subject translate into your visual concept?
The form, the combination of pictures and drawings was invented by accident. Simply, in one of my pictures an element was missing and I asked Monica Prus to draw it. When I started this project I instantly knew that I would invite Monika Prus to collaborate with me. Monica is a great graphic. She helped me so much that she became a full co-author of the project.
The project arose after innumerable quarrels that defined the the parameters of the work. Fortunately I managed to achieve the results that I had in mind.
How did you plan the project?
The models in the photos are my friends. The original idea was that each portrait would be a personal reflection of their childhood. Later we decied to change our idea a bit, cause we found out that their are many universal scenes that apply to many childhoods. We all have been in love, have played with kites, or were moved by certain movies. So in the end the scenes have become a more general representation of childhood.
What is the most memorable reaction on your project so far?
The greatest benefit from this project was the smile of the heroes of the photographs, which are largely my friends, when they saw the works at a specially organised exhibition.
Photos © Dominik Smialowski
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