Fascinated by the exploration of self and identity, Greek photographer Ioanna Natsikou embraces two roles in her photographs: one behind the camera and one in front of it. She’s deeply interested in issues of femininity, eroticism, sexuality, and representation. And what better way to convey her powerful messages than by moving boundaries and revealing herself? Her feminine photography tells stories full of mysteries, sensibility, and love.
Discover a photographer in search of identity, creative voice, and new challenges. See how reality, fiction, and personal exploration can become an artistic mixture that inspires you.
What got you excited about photography? What were your first experiences behind a camera?
My artistic journey with photography started when I decided to take a leap towards a new career in 2016. I enrolled in an annual photography course and discovered a whole new world through the camera. It was so exciting because, for the first time, it was possible for me to blend reality and fiction, to create emotions and visual narratives in one single image. Plus, I am a lover of light, so “drawing” with light is just magic!
Your Artist Statement frames your work as an exploration of the self through femininity, sexuality, and representation. How did you shape your creative voice and manifest central themes of your work?
The process of finding my voice is a constant dialogue with the self: it is a long path, with a lot of experimentation, practice, introspection, formed over time, that at the end reflects my life experience, identity, and what matters to me.
It is like a puzzle: at the beginning, I couldn’t see the whole picture, but slowly all the pieces started fitting together.
How do you develop a creative idea?
In the initial stages, my approach is intuitive and experimental. I have a vague vision of what I am searching for. I start by taking many pictures for a period of time, and then I am ‘experimenting’ with them through post-processing. After this initial phase, I repeat the process of taking pictures and decide the final editing. I found out that during the creative process, I need to pause for a while, take some distance, and look back through the eyes of a more detached observer.
What have been the most rewarding and most challenging parts of your creative process thus far, and why?
The most challenging part of my creative process is to have a clear idea of the project. As an intuitive thinker, I always struggle to bridge the gap between emotions and cognition. Every time I achieve a goal and realize I moved forward is really motivating for me. This year I am honored to be selected in the annual publication of Fresh Eyes, powered by GUP magazine, among the best 100 emerging photography talent from Europe. Furthermore, winning the prize of Amateur Fine Art Photographer of the year from the Fine Art Photography Awards has been very rewarding.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a project about the emotional journey of infertility, an experience marked by feelings of ambiguity, indeterminacy, and a loss of one’s sense of identity.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Follow your instinct and don’t be afraid to fail. You have so much precious time, so take advantage of it!
Think through photography and express inner thoughts and feelings.
Challenge the boundaries between fact and fiction in a silent and poetic way through the use of color and light.
Incorporate elements of theatre, cinema, and performance in a silent and poetic way blurring the boundaries between fact and fiction.
Into written by Monica Radulescu