It takes a lot to motivate me to reach out to a photographer for permission to feature their work but a lot is exactly what Brisbane-based photographer and digital artist Jane Long provides with her latest series, "Dancing with Costică”. Colorizing, compositing and creating content for images she sources from the Costica Ascinte Archive, Jane is able to deliver beautiful, imaginative and surreal narratives to each of her final images. This series has already been exhibited at the Romanian Embassy in Canberra, Australia and the Romanian Photo Festival this past May. If you're fortunate enough to be in the area, you can see her work first hand at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale starting this August 22nd. If not, then you will just have to stalker her on Facebook like the rest of us unlucky masses. Thanks for sharing and inspiring, Jane.
I wanted there to be some ambiguity about the images. Things that are almost real or not quite right. That’s why I like to place them in a slightly surreal context. But I think it should be up to the viewer to determine if the characters in my images are good or bad, light or dark.
This is in many ways a collaboration, albeit one with a photographer I have never met (and never will) and the man who has taken it upon himself to conserve the archive. It is through the work of Cezar Popescu in restoring and digitizing these images that I am able to draw on such a rich source of inspiration in Costică Ascinte’s work.
The Dancing with Costică series initially came about when I decided to brush up on my retouching skills. After finding the Costică Acsinte Archive on Flickr I became fascinated with the images and their subjects. I wanted to bring them to life. But more than that I wanted to give them a story. I will probably never know the real stories of these people but in my mind they became characters in tales of my own invention...star crossed lovers, a girl waiting for her lover to come home, boys sharing a fantasy, innocent children with a little hint of something dark.
Artist Biography – Jane Long
Photographer and digital artist Jane Long was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1970. Currently based in Brisbane, Australia, she combines photography and photomanipulation to create slightly surreal images that straddle the line between reality and fantasy.
Long has spent most of her career as a graphic designer, entering the industry over 20 years ago and establishing her own studio in 1996. Completely self-taught, she has worked with Photoshop since 1994, both commercially and for personal work.
She developed an interest in photography as an extension of her personal photomanipulation work, wanting more control over the stock images she was using, both from a creative and copyright point of view, and progressing to a love of photography in general.
Initially working with friends and family, she used an old instamatic or borrowed equipment for several years until her first DSLR purchase a little over two years ago. Since then she has delved wholeheartedly into photography, concentrating on conceptual portraiture. However digital art remains a passion and forms an integral part of her work.
Deciding to move into the fine art market in April 2014, her first series “Self-Preservation” has received several accolades including several images being listed as finalists for the Macquarie Photography Prize and “Cured” being announced as a semi-finalist for the Moran Photographic Prize.
Her next series “Dancing with Costică” shot her to international exposure with features on over 40 prominent photography and general interest websites including ABC News US, Daily Mail UK, Daily Mail Australia, SLR Lounge, PetaPixel, Bored Panda and BuzzFeed as well as a number of photography magazines and Romanian TV!
The series was exhibited at the Romanian Embassy in Canberra, Australia from March-June this year. It was also shown at the Romanian Photo Festival in May and opens at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale on the 22nd of August.
Jane Long Photography:
101 Park Rd Wooloowin Qld Australia 4030
ph: +617 3857 5737