Enter The Woods Through The Darkness

The Serbian Photographer At The Beginning Of Her Career Fascinated By Dark Moods And Shadowplay

It’s time to enter Gothic realms with Serbain photographer Mirjana Grasser. Crafting herself a presence on Instagram, A Place For Us To Dream is the name of her new series of delicate images, which reveal a heightened awareness of shadow and light as they filter through woodland trees. As such, these images recall the beautiful strengths of silent-movie era Japanese cinema aesthetics, where striking scenic architecture meets emotional intensity.

Heavily at play in her photographs are elements of gothic melodrama and melancholia, and an obsession with darkness. This is pure escapism, pursued through humble forms: using just her iPhone6 and a variety of apps, she is able to achieve her desired effect. In one, a faceless, cloaked figure haunts a fog-smothered landscape. In another, three women, their hair falling to obscure their faces, dance like Macbeth’s three witches in a smoky field. Slender bodies smoke cigarettes in a whirling cloud of ethereal textures. These women are distressed, and yet at home in the forests where their emotions can be reflected in the starkness of the trees. “I like that I can express personal feelings which in reality I can’t. I dream through my art,” she tells us.

We are looking forward to what the future brings for Mirjana, so we had a chat with her to find out more.

The Plus: Can you tell us some information about yourself and your artistic/professional background?
Mirjana Grasser:
I live in Serbia and run my family business, nothing arty, but I have always been fascinated by dark scenes, shadows, details, and like to express my deep emotions by photography. I am an Instagram fan and this is where I uploaded my first photos of shadowed landscapes from Samsung for my friends. Then I bought an iPone6, as suggested by my friend Ana Markovic known as ana.mar( instagram name) and began to play with apps. It all started as a hobby.

TP: What cameras do you use and for which purposes?
For now I only take pictures with an iphone6 and edit them with many apps, such as Snapseed, Mextures, Vsco, Art Studio, Pixelmator and Image Blender. I plan to buy a Canon700d soon.

TP: What inspired ‘A Place For Us To Dream’?
My personal feelings and dreams. I don’t like sunlight, I prefer autumn and winter, dark lights, and most of my time I spend in the woods. Usually I go early in the morning when there is a lot of fog and all is quiet. So, in my photographs are a women who enjoy the solitude in the wood and nature; there they can show their feelings and dreams. I am fascinated by beautiful natural scenes, like fog, darkness and branches. The quiet darkness and fog, which is still alive and fully functioning in the life of woods is what makes me feel content.

TP: How did you compose these images?
While I walk through the woods I try to capture atmosphere and light. After that, I ask my female friends to pose for me in my garden. I like them to look sad, with eyes closed, usually in white or black clothes. And then I mix or blend those two. I play with different brushes in apps so women sometimes seem unreal and I can reinforce feelings that they show. My editing comes spontaneously so as to feel personal and I never know how it will eventually look like in the end. I also like to add the unrealistic effects.

TP: What’s next for you?
I will take some winter photos with my new Canon, and see how it goes. As long as I have my followers I know I am doing it right.