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Yet I have been a tree in the woods… dreamed of high rocks, open spaces and sky overhead – Alice Jankovic

I was born in Genoa in 1996. I am a photography student, currently in my second year attending the Italian Institute of Photography in Milan. Previously I studied at the Academies of Fine Arts of Venice and Genoa for two years. My love for photography was born at the age of fourteen when I started travelling, telling stories through portraits of people, details and the surrounding nature.

I am interested in anthropological photography, work that is connected to the natural world through set portrait shots, natural detail and reuse of archival photography – recreating fragments of stories communicated by the people I meet. Recently I have been experimenting with fashion photography which has given me a chance to play with recreating the atmosphere of Romantic and Flemish paintings, which take me back to my studies of art and film history.

My work is influenced by photographers such as August Sander, Darius Kinsey, Chris Killip, Peter Lindberg and Giovanni Marozzini – a contemporary photographer who focuses on the relationship between literature and photography. 

Tell us more about your project.

‘Yet I have been a tree in the woods… dreamed of high rocks, open spaces and sky overhead’ was born during the first lockdown, while dreaming of open spaces and travelling with the imagination.

One day, opening a box of old family photographs, I found images and letters from an ancestor who so strongly felt the call of nature that he abandoned his comfort zone and start a new life in the wild. Among the personal items of this ancestor, I found the book ‘Walden’ by H.D. Thoreau.

Do you yourself feel “the call of the wild”?

Since I was a child, I have always been attracted to the woods, the moors, places that have inspired us since ancient times, places which have created legends and folk tales that have been handed down over the centuries. I combine this fascination for the fairytale with the desire to travel and the desire for anthropological investigation.

During the development of the project I became aware of a possibility, the chance to live a different lifestyle. It attracts me, but at the same time I find it so faraway from my life – a utopia, a dream…

Recommend us something.

Inspired by these topics I’m exploring, I recently read two books: ‘Where the seahorses swim’ by Hilde and Ylva Ostby and ‘The mythology of trees’ by Jacques Brosse. 

I also recently watched the films ‘The Rules of Chaos’ which was directed by Alan Rickman, and ‘The Secret Garden’ (1993) directed by Agnieszka Holland. Some music that is inspiring me is The Lumineers, in particular the songs: ‘Glane’ and ‘Ophelia’.

Finally, tell us about one photograph or piece of art that has largely influenced you.

The photograph that I love most and that has particularly influenced me is ‘Cedar‘ (1916) by Darius Kinsey, an American photographer of the late 19th century known for large-format images of Washington State woodcutters.

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