Nottingham European Archery Games 2016 Recurve Finals

selene alexia (17 of 17) And we're done! An amazing weekend in Nottingham full of tension and cheers. Above our mens recurve gold medalist from France, Jean- Charles Valladont, and below our womens recurve gold medalist from Ukraine, Veronika Marchenko.

 

A thrilling day, where athletes and teams easily won the hearts of the crowd. Team GB shined with the silver medal for the mens team and the bronze for mens individual with Patrick Huston.

The mixed team from Ukraine below with Viktor Ruban, Beijing 2008 gold medalist and Athens 2004 Bronze medalist, and Anastasia Pavlova, who was part of the womens team who won gold earlier today.

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Nottingham European Archery Games 2016 Finals

Day One of the finals for the Nottingham European Archery games saw so many spectacular athletes shooting their compound bows brilliantly. The gold medalist for the men's compound, and european champion Stephan Hansen.

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I love capturing the moment when an athlete releases the arrow. Arrows travel at such high speeds they're nearly impossible to see. Below you see Genet of France.

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You can hardly see it but the archer from Denmark below just released his arrow. See the streak on the right?

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This little hero was fetching the arrows from the targets for the archers.

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And here are a few more of my favorites:

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Good luck to all the athletes competing tomorrow in the recurve finals!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nottingham European Archery Games 2016

The continental championship, the second to last chance on the Road to Rio for archers was completed in Nottingham today, with the finals for the European Championship shot this weekend. A very exciting day which saw archers from Turkey, Team GB, Slovakia, Finland and Azerbaijan win the white cards for Rio. See you all there!

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The hidden truth

Here is a piece I was working on earlier this term for university. The challenge was to take a story from one genre and transform it into another. I chose a scene from The Other Boleyn Girl, as well known historical fiction, and transformed it into fantasy.  “What’s the noise?” the king bellowed and stood up from his throne.

A hush crept over the hall, drowning the laughter instantly. He strode over to the round table where a lady dressed fully in green silks was engaged in conversation with five men at arms. “I hope you know what you’re doing,” the king continued, “these vagabonds will stop at nothing to take your money.”

The lady in green stood up with a slight curtsey, and then lifted her head, smiling at the man who towered over her. “We’re not gambling, your Grace.”

A gruff man in a grey tunic continued, “Mistress Boleyn is just reading our fortunes, Sire.”

“Then read mine,” the king demanded, as he took a seat across from the lady, eyes still fixed on her face. She picked up the deck of cards from the table and began to shuffle them slowly, eyes meeting his own. “Another talent picked up in France?”

“The queen offers her ladies a broad education,” she replied as she selected two cards from the deck and placed them face down on the wooden table.

“Last I heard, she was entertaining Lutherans and heretics.”

“Scholars and philosophers, my lord, escaping persecution,” the lady interjected.

“I hope you kept your ears shut.”

“I did, and a cross close to my heart at all times,” she said coyly, touching the chain around her neck. She began to turn the cards over slowly, one at a time. First, The Emperor, “a sign of compassion from a benevolent leader”. Next to that, the two of cups, “Love, passion and affinity.” The bright blue liquid flowing out of the cups seemed to shimmer and move for a moment. The king looked up at the lady, curiously, but she was shuffling the cards once more. She spread the cards in her fingers and looked up at the king.

“Choose one, and place it on top of the other two.”

He grins, drawing the bottom card in the set, his hand lingering on hers for a fleeting moment. The Lovers, overturned.

The lady smiles, turning the card to face the right way up. “I like it more this way, don’t you?” The image depicts two nude figures, a woman and a man, locked in a passionate embrace.

The king, and the rest of the men who were watching, begin to laugh, but as she turned the next card over, the laughter ended. The men stared down at a heart pierced by three long swords.

“My lord it’s not as ominous as it may appear. Quite the contrary. It means that changes are coming, that there will be a disruption, for the better of course. It seems your life will become even more exciting. Here, take another.”

He lifts the card and turns it to face him, shielding it from her. “What would you say this is, fortuneteller?”

“The hanged man, a sign of divine wisdom and intuition. The most appropriate card for such a noble and strong ruler as yourself.”

“Indeed,” he says tossing the card on the table as he rose, laughing with his companions, “it seems I have a lot to look forward to, wouldn’t you say?”

“The cards speak for themselves my lord, but I am very pleased with them.” She collected the cards and took another bow to the king, before returning to her chambers to change for the evening’s meal.

Once behind closed doors she began to silently cheer and glee for her success. He was enchanted. She then turned to her desk, and pulled off a small key which hung around her neck, deeply hidden beneath her dress. She used it to open a small chest hidden in a cupboard in the desk. Inside were dozens of small vials, whose glass chimed as she ran her fingers over them. She pulled out one labeled Essences d'amour, unstopped it and delicately let fall a single drop on her wrist. In the red liquid of the potion was a single hair. She next pulled out a pendant of rose quarts, which she hung around her neck, before returning the locked chest to its hiding place. She had just managed to return the key to her neck when someone knocked on the door.

“A moment,” she exclaimed, surprised that the concoction would have worked so quickly. She expected the king to be standing outside her door. A small boy was there instead, holding an ornate jewelry box up to her with his arms outstretched. “A gift from the king, mistress Boleyn,” he squeaked in his high voice.

“Thank you little one. Please open it for me.”

He did as he was told, and unsealed the box. Inside was a string of white pearls, on which hung a pendant with a large emerald, a shade of green that would perfectly match the dress she was wearing earlier.

“Now, please send it back.” The boy stood frozen in place, staring up at the regal lady.

“You heard me, send it back.” She closed her door, leaving the boy still motionless, and began to giggle once more, falling on her bed in joy.

Time for something new

This past year has been amazing. I spent a lot of it travelling, shooting sports a lot, and meeting some truly remarkable people along the way. IMG_1233.jpgI've made new friends, lost old companions and in general have been living. Since September I've been studying for a Masters in Creative Writing and Publishing. That doesn't mean I don't love photography anymore (or anything even close to that!). Just that I'm pulling more pieces together to realise my ultimate dreams. So I've been wondering what to do next with this blog, whether it should continue to function  solely as a photography concept sharing platform or whether it should become something more. At the moment I'm thinking I'll divide it into categories, so for example share my writing in one place, general experiences in another and photography in a third. Do any of you think this is a good or bad idea? Would love to hear back from you.

Alice, revisited

Another piece of creative writing I thought I could share. A new view on Alice's life after wonderland.  

A key, a boy, a song

Alice could hear Cruella de Vil blaring in the other room for the hundredth time today. That song is going to drive me crazy. She was rummaging around her open closet trying to decide on what to wear. Her favorite blue and white dress just didn’t seem to cut it anymore. He had fallen in love with her when she was wearing that dress. It was mad to still have it, let alone to wear it out on a night with the in-laws. You see, the Ascots hated everything she kept from that time. Everything that could even slightly hint at him or at that place. Alice pulled the dress out from the cupboard and clutched it to her chest, breathing in the smells of lavender and smoke that clung to the fabric like spider webs.

Once more from the top… Cruella de Vil, Cruella de Vil, if she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will… to see her is to take a sudden chill…

Alice dropped the dress and fell head first into her pillows trying to drown out the noise of the song. She remembered him all too clearly. The day they won. Bathed in golden light. So beautiful. He couldn’t help but dance. He flung his hat in the air and she caught it. That’s the moment she knew she loved him.

If you dare walk away…if you dare leave this place… he wasn’t dancing anymore. His words haunted her.

I have to. It’s too late. I have to get home or else mother will be cross. Her pathetic reply. He fell to his knees and clung on to her, grasping at the hem of her blue and white dress, threatening not to let go. His fingers were sullied from the muddy ground.

Cruella…she’s like a spider waiting for her kill… Alice let go of the pillows and stood up, her back already slightly stiff from the hard mattress. She pulled on a simple black dress. Now my hair. She moved across the room to the looking glass and started fidgeting with her curls. The cup of tea she had made earlier that evening still rested untouched next to her brush. She rummaged around her jewelry drawer, pushing aside little bottles, dice, chess pieces, an old pocket watch and other knick-knacks before she found the key she now wore as a pendant. As she fastened the clasp she heard the car horn honk outside. Come on girl, put on your happy face. The creased face in the mirror returned her weak smile.

She walked into the other room. The sound of the song grew louder and louder with each step, almost drowning out the click clack of her heels. This vampire bat…this inhuman beast…

As she entered, the boy turned to her and smiled. He was holding a Dalmatian teddy bear and making it fly around the room. “I’m off honey, I’ll see you next year!” Alice said in a cheery tone.

The boy burst into tears, dropped the puppy and hobbled over to her. He grabbed on to her dress and legs, crying too hard to be understood. If he tries to steal my dress again, I’ll just have to give it to him, Alice thought, while disentangling herself from his grip. “Oh Tarrant, please don’t. I didn’t mean… I only meant daddy and I will be back later tonight. You see it’s New Year’s Eve. Darling boy…” The horn was honked twice more. “It’s alright, please...” the horn blared out in a single long beep. “Damn it Hamish, Lori please just take him.” The boy let go of Alice’s dress and rushed back to the fallen teddy, and away from his aunt’s grasp. The song shadowed each of Alice’s steps as she walked to the exit. She ought to be locked up and never released. The world was such a wholesome place until…Cruella, Cruella de Vil. Alice reached up and touched her pendant, glancing one last time at the tearful boy before closing the front door of the house.

 

To Autumn

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To Autumn                By William Blake

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest, And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe, And all the daughters of the year shall dance! Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

“The narrow bud opens her beauties to The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins; Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve, Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing, And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.

“The spirits of the air live in the smells Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.” Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat, Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

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She stands, young and brave. A beauty in the face of the Fall.

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Happy Friday all,

It's getting so cold here in London, even though the Spring feels like it's just around the corner,

so I wanted to remember the beautiful Fall that just passed.

Here you can see the pinterest board I filled with the inspiration for this shoot.

More from this set to come.

A little crackle

So with the support and encouragement of the remarkable Jordan Followwill I'll share a short blurt I wrote during my last writing class: The rain and hail pelted against the window. She was enchanted and scared. She could see the light flashing outside - reflecting on the glass of the large window. That meant the noise would be here soon. And there it was. This time it synchronised with the crack of a pinecone in the fireplace. It put her fur on ends. Made her yelp. She ran to the larger sleeping lump, the one who was never scared of anything. She bumped into his chest in her hurry, slipping on the marble underfoot. He drowsily half opened his left eye, before letting it droop shut oblivious. Her short coat didn't help stop her trembles. Another flash of light. She saw it in the water bowl this time, The sound echoed as if the four great danes of the apocalypse came crashing onto the roof of the single story house. The fire crackled on, as unperturbed as the grandfather of a pup sleeping deeply beside her.

So What's Next?

I want to treat this blog from here on out as a creative journal, a platform through which I can share my inspiration, thoughts and developments. Consider yourselves warned.I've not been very good at keeping this page up to date, and feel that by being more open about what I share it will be more helpful to both you as readers and me as a writer. I've hit a bit of a creative rough patch these past 6 months, so I decided to take a few creative writing courses and return to the basics of learning with my photography rather than being so stressed about getting work out of it. I want to feel that rush that comes by learning and trying new techniques.

Hope this attempt works out for the best and hope you all are well,

BA Graduate Show

Last night was our graduate show private view. It was such an incredible experience to be able to talk about my work with so many people and hear so much input so thank you to everyone who made it down, and I'm glad you enjoyed the show. My project, The Edien Wayland, explores a part of my inner fantasy realm, where you meet different characters as you explore this world.

Model: Aistė Tiriūtė  Dress and hat design: Selene Alexia and Despo

Model: Bethany W (Profile) Hair and Make up: Tati Zarubova  Dress and hat design: Selene Alexia and Despo Lefkariti

Model: Daniella Francesca Rusmigo  Dress and hat design: Selene Alexia and Despo

Model: Margarita Antoniadou Dress and hat design: Selene Alexia and Despo

 

 

Below are some shots from the installation:

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What you can't see here is that three of the four images have water infront of them, at the water level within the shots.

Also, you can't see the book, so here are some close up shots of my favourite pages:

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The book begins with an introductory letter:

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

Before you delve deeper into this guide, there is one question that I must pose:

What is real?

This is a question I’ve asked myself time and time again. Although the answer seems simple enough, the more I think about it, the harder it is to pin down. Is something only real when we experience it? Then how are the most vivid of day dreams, or the most terrifying nightmares not in fact real? The dictionary states that something is real when it is “actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed” thus these scenes before you are all real. They were created and documented from my experiences in this habitat.

I have made every effort to record what I know of this boundless world faithfully, but there is still so much left to discover. I have named this area the Edien Wayland because of the way water and land merge. I found it while roaming around in the woods as a child. I stepped off a trail I was familiar with, and entered the wayland. As I continued on this journey I noticed the trees started looking slightly lopsided. They seemed to be sprouting out of a lake like reeds, so I had to take a closer look. As I stepped in the water though, I fell through to discover a land that echoed the one above, yet the strangest thing happened. I could breathe.

How do you know air exists if not from each breath you take? Well in this place air was water, and the earth was both above and below me. This countered everything I had known to be true and thus begun my journey of inquiring what is real.

I hope you indulge in the expedition you have undertaken, but do be careful. You never know what questions you may stumble into.

Selene Alexia

 

And continues:

One of the first questions that must have sprung to your mind is what Edien Wayland actually means. If you’re not fluent in Old English don’t worry - most people nowadays are not. Edien, directly translated, is noble waterfall, and wayland means the land near the path.

I named this place the wayland when I first arrived since it is where I stumbled into after stepping off the road most travel by. The abundance in water, and the way water and land merge convinced me that this noble place is the expanded incarnation of what a waterfall feels like against your skin.

In the images above I have captured some of the creatures I have met along these excursions. I have sworn an oath to not reveal their names, thus I shall refer to them based on their role in this hidden society.

The troubadour was my first friend here. Do you see the path behind her? That is the path you need to step off to find this land! Anyway, she recounts tales of glory, of love and of adventure. She records these from time to time and is constantly surrounded by words. The next individual who surprised me was the crier. If this was a traditional medieval village the crier would stand in the town centre and shout out the news. This lady though would do no such thing. She would share the news on boats which floated past her to their recipients over mud, land and water. The river before her is one of the many spots where you can dive into, to enter the Edien part of this land. The next person I have recorded is one of the flower princesses. She was too busy searching for something to stop and talk to me. I wish I could have helped her but she kept on floating without sparing me a second glance, so I moved on. If you dive even deeper into the water you may come across the enchantress. She is a spider, a nightmare, a black widow who has woven her web in the most rotten region I’ve so far seen. Beware when you go near her. She’s not a friend. She has been casting enchantments and causing trouble in this land for as long as the other creatures can remember.

Also, you should know that time passes differently in this place. What might feel like a walk among the trees or a short dance in the sunset could last for months or for mere seconds. I have not yet understood why this fluctuation of time happens. If you come across the answer on your excursion please write back to me and let me know.

 

 

I hope this gives you a taste of what the project is all about. At the show I was inviting people to touch the frames and boxes, to see how the water moved. I was thrilled to see how many people enjoyed the work and realm I created.

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In the City

   

This is the last of my back logged work which isn't related to the project I'm working on for my grad show! Soon all you'll see is new work, and I'm so excited to be sharing that :)

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One more collaboration between me and Ulia Ali from about a year ago, where we headed in to the City of London so I could introduce her to one of my favourite spots. I find this church so calming and beautiful, so I wanted to share it with her. You can read more about our day on her blog!

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London Town

ulia-ali-viewfromheels-azerbaijan-baku-london-fashion-style-blogger-young This is the first shoot of 2014 Ulia and I collaborated on. She wrote a very interesting post on her blog where she compares her life in London and all the changes she has faced to her life in Baku. As you may or may not know, Ulia is a fashion blogger from Azerbaijan who moved to London to for a new adventure. She is the former editor of Wedding Magazine Azerbaijan, and has launched several magazines since her arrival in London.

Thank you Ulia for being such a motivation, and such a great friend

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Hiiigh Magazine

selenealexia hiiigh 6 Ulia Ali, who I've collaborated with several times for her blog, started a culture magazine called Hiiigh last year. You can see the first issue on ISSUU, for which I captured the cover photograph, and the main editorial spread.

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Here are some of my favourite photos for the shoot, where Laura Baldwin featured as our beautiful ballerina.

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Forsaken Allure

Last year a group of five of us, four photographers and a publisher, got together to launch a magazine. Thank you Cassie Molly Carthy, Lucy Blanchard, Nathalia Takeuchi and Ulia Ali for a very fun experience!We invited other photographers and artists to be part of this magazine, and we each created a series for the issue. The following were my images:

Special thanks to Joanne Fleming whose gorgeous dresses are featured in these images, to Ian Mears and Vasilis for assisting, and to the unwavering Stacey Johnson for modelling! 

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In my images I wanted to explore the way grace and the desolate can come together.

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selenealexia lillesden 4 I love creating worlds within each image where you can catch a glimpse of an alternate reality that the viewer can explore beyond the limitations of each of my images. I hope viewers question what they see and wonder things such as who these characters are, why they are here and where they will go next.

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I fell in love with this location on a drive with my mom in the English countryside, and was so sad that they were planning on tearing it down the week after this shoot!

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The concept of the magazine developed into an arts magazine for students, so after the first issue I chose to no longer be part of that team since I no longer felt passionate about its direction, but wish them all the best for the second issue and more!

Tatoi and the Lost Princess

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Tatoi used to be the summer palace of the former Greek Royal family. It is just a few miles north of Athens, in Mount Parnitha. It's a gorgeous place, which reminds me of the former glory of Greece, but sadly it is in ruins. The place inspired the following shoot where Veroniki agreed (thankfully!) to model for me, as the lost princess who roams around the woods and lands of this formerly glorious estate.

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selenealexia veroniki 1  selenealexia veroniki 9 I'm so happy this beautiful lady was willing to help me with these ideas! we met up the day before the shoot and found the fabric to make the dress which she cut to size, and which we sewed on to her on the day! She even woke up at 4 am so we could meet up and be ready in time for a sunrise shoot! I cant thank her enough :)

 

 

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Roaming around London

ulia - smoochxoxo 31ulia smoochxoxo 42 The following photos were from various other collaborations with Ulia Ali, where we roamed around london photographing clothes for her blog and for Smoochxoxo, the online retailer. You can see Ulia's full blog post about our day here and here and here!

 

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These are a few of my favourite photos from the day:

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this was such a gorgeous sunny day!