Natalia Grela (Amazingmerry on DeviantArt)

Natalia Grela (Amazingmerry on DeviantArt)

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Natalia is one of the few photographers for whom I haven’t been able to tease out a bit of context. I know she’s Polish, and looks like this:

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….and my two opening images are meant to symbolise her photographic split-personality. Generally speaking, on DeviantArt (where she uses the moniker Amazingmerry), her art is very child-oriented, and tackles the subject honestly and with great tenderness – often in monochrome – while on Facebook she’s Grelove Photography: and her logo (and the bright colour shot of the three smiling girls in a sun-kissed meadow) tells you pretty well all you need to know (see image link below):

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…..so one personality seems to be direct, unadorned, honest and personal – while the other produces reasonably traditional wedding/baby/pregnancy/family photography: everyone dressed up for the occasion, with floaty white dresses for the ladies, suits and white shirts for the men, and the girls wearing frocks with garlands of flowers in their hair. You can say that it’s a logical split between her personal and professional lives – but the personal is so expressive and felt, that I can’t help but wonder if she suffers to some extent when she picks up the camera and asks everyone present to say ser (“cheese” in Polish)……

I know, I shouldn’t speculate on someone I’ve admitted I haven’t been able to research – an interview would probably tell me that everything I’ve said so far is hogwash. I’ll shut up and show some of her DeviantArt work:

little_girl_by_amazingmerry-d4or3ze

little_dream_by_amazingmerry-d4or363

photo_girls_by_amazingmerry-d6bduwc

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____by_amazingmerry-d63ay81

____by_amazingmerry-d63axye

stef_and_mila_by_amazingmerry-d5yzotq

ala_by_amazingmerry-d5hgvqk

childhood_by_amazingmerry-d7v3p70

old_time_by_amazingmerry-d6bdude

soulmates_never_die_by_amazingmerry-d6aqyuc

sea_time_by_amazingmerry-d7v3o4i

star_by_amazingmerry-d7v3o23

stars_by_amazingmerry-d7v3o8p

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…..simply basing the set round the fact they all feature the girls on beds – probably the best (or only) place Natalia could get them all to stay put, in the time it takes to get the camera ready…

These are more varied, as to location:

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beauty_by_amazingmerry-d7v3ou3

big_dreams_that_should_be_enough_by_amazingmerry-d5yzok6

child_by_amazingmerry-d7v3pdj

little_black_cat_by_amazingmerry-d7v3pfd

flower_girl_by_amazingmerry-d6meejp

funny_childhood_by_amazingmerry-d6c27hj

girl_and_car_by_amazingmerry-d5uswvu

pefa_by_amazingmerry-d5kg1zy

smile_by_amazingmerry-d5min26

lo_lo_love_by_amazingmerry-d5p0wl2

play_by_amazingmerry-d6c27m0

she_want_to_be_adult_by_amazingmerry-d7v3pp6

stefa_by_amazingmerry-d5kg1nl

teeth_by_amazingmerry-d5n7x93

water_girl_by_amazingmerry-d7v3oru

who_next__by_amazingmerry-d5usx2a

______________________________________little_girl__little_drams_by_amazingmerry-d4xtpdj

…..some extraordinarily expressive and tender portraits in there – it’s well worth visiting her gallery on DeviantArt, if only to see the titles she gives the pictures – sometimes very telling as to her feelings about them. She has written “I am pretty fuckin’ far from okay” on her profile page – god knows how long ago she wrote it, or how momentary a feeling it was – but the last dozen or so images she posted were traditional wedding portraits and cats – nothing wrong with that, but completely at odds with her previous online work. She hasn’t posted anything on DA or Facebook for getting on for six months, so I’m going to keep checking to see what she comes up with next….and hope she’s feeling better than she was……

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