Exploring the history and purpose of still life with Evelyn Bencicova, Spotlight Awards Emerging Talent / Students Category winner
Evelyn Bencicova, a visual creative specialised in photography and art direction and Spotlight Awards 2018 Winner in Emerging Talent / Students Category took time to speak to us about her work.
Production Paradise: Tell us about the winning image, the idea behind it, how was it shot?
Evelyn Bencicova: This picture, titled ‘Luxury’, is part of the “(An)organic” series. “(An)organic” explores the history and purpose of still life as a genre. Still life is not just a random constellation of objects, its choice and composition defines the person who owns the objects, or at least the way of presentation to the public.
Animals display their human-like characters through the interaction with their surroundings; still life compositions creating the landscape they find themselves in. In typical fashion for the genre, every subtle detail contains a meaning, a metaphor hidden among the fruit or a piece of meat. The sphynx cat, the symbol of the rich, sitting fat and conformable, not paying attention to the tasty, delicate dishes served on the table – it represents Luxury.
Production Paradise: How would you describe your style?
Evelyn Bencicova: I would say it is indescribable. I don’t stick with one specific style or genre. The only way I would like to describe my work is ever-evolving, developing, in progress.
Production Paradise: How did you end up behind the lens? Tell us about your career path.
Evelyn Bencicova: I don’t see “behind the lens” state as something where I ended up. Right now, I use photography as a medium to express myself which might change any time, even soon. I would rather describe myself as a visual creative or story-teller.
But if you want to know about first contacts with a camera, it was in 2012 after an eye surgery which enabled me to see sharply after years of not even knowing how detailed and beautiful the world can be. This event started my full fascination with the visual world, but I believe that the skill of building narratives inside my head started long before. As early as I can remember, I imagined more than I saw and used to form stories from fragments. Photography came like a language, which allowed me to speak but it is not my main focus.
Production Paradise: What do you think is necessary to become a successful commercial photographer?
Evelyn Bencicova: A successful person is the one who creates with pleasure and feeling of fulfilment. I don’t consider myself to be a commercial photographer and I am just working on being successful. Even if I will once get there, I don’t think there is a recipe which applies to everyone. Each person has different goals. Someone may create for money, other people for fame, for personal joy and many other reasons. To answer the question of how to be successful, it is necessary to ask what are we aiming for, because accomplishment can take many forms.
Production Paradise: We believe you are not resting on your laurels – what are you working on now?
Evelyn Bencicova: Right now, I am working mainly on finishing my masters at the university and developing my knowledge and skills.
Production Paradise: The Spotlight Awards had a judge’s panel composed of potential clients for commercial photographers – did that influence your choice of image(s) selected for your entry?
Evelyn Bencicova: Not really. I see the Spotlight Awards as a competition appreciating strong photography with high technical quality as well as a captivating concept.
Production Paradise: What made you want to participate in these Awards?
Evelyn Bencicova: The opportunity to show my work next to talented photographers.
It has been a pleasure to speak with Evelyn. For those who want to know more about her amazing work, Production Paradise invites you to visit her website.