|SOUVENIR by Justyna Neryng|
Justyna's portfolio is so full of energy and ideas that I felt absolutely compelled to work with her. She lives in a lovely flat in Hove where she has her home studio and, on 2nd June 2010, that is where I met her for the first time. She is a great admirer of the work of Bill Henson and wanted to try something on similar lines with me that is, intense and dark.
She asked me first to rub mud all over my face and and my T shirt and we tried some different poses and then we tried some portraits. I cleaned myself up and suggested that I combed my wet hair back for these. She said she wanted it to look as if I was crying and put some vaseline on my cheek. I said that, although I had had some training as an actor, I had never been able to make myself cry. However, as she set up the camera, I felt tears coming into my eyes. I wasn't forcing myself to cry nor was I thinking of anything sad but it was really a physical thing and maybe I was so much in the moment that it was inevitable that tears would flow as indeed they did.
We were both exhilarated and this image is at the top of my list of favourites. It is so powerful. The emotion is real and the depth of colour and the directness of the gaze all serve to produce a magnificent image.
Justyna is not afraid to dig deep and to bare all both physically and emotionally and yet she has a delicate side to her that belies this boldness.