Nashalina Schrape was born in Berlin, Germany but all of her adult life, she has made New York City her home. Her photography is a mix of fairy world set in Gothic period with a strange cold mist hung in the air. We believe a mysterious tune- a melancholic and a haunting one being played at the back of her images. She’s been using her visual art to grip your heart with hands that are abundant in her images… these are symbolic gestures to wake you up from a terrible sleep or a gentle tap on your head to put you at rest.
Shooting mostly with people she knows and doing all styling and grooming by herself, Nashalina masterly creates images that are penetrating, soulful, and always delightful. Here’s a fine selection of her recent images with this interview:
Hello Nashalina, please tell us something about yourself:
Like photography, New York saves. I have been here my whole adult life. I was born in Berlin, where my emotional and cultural origins began. My entire family continues to live there. I have a Masters of Science degree in Art Therapy. During the day, I am a Paediatric Art Therapist in the oldest public hospital in the United States.
I have been taking photos in my mind since I was a child crossing the heavily guarded East Berlin wall, as I was saying good bye to my grandmother. I seldom got to see her and I needed a way to remember how she looked. Things got very serious, about 3 years ago, when I bought my first full sensor camera. At that moment, I knew I NEEDED to do photography. Before that, I had been dappling with photography for almost 5 years.
For all intense purposes, I have two full time jobs, therefore balance is very important. I have learned to respect the ebb and flow of creativity. And I have learned that being a photographer is not just about taking photos. There is a lot of down time i.e. editing, website editing, printing, managing files, submitting work, writing interviews…
I encourage my patients to express themselves through their own art. The premise for using art is that most of us, especially children have a hard time verbalizing subtle emotional or traumatic experiences. Art allows us to express in ways that do not require words. All of my patients live with a medical challenge, for example, rule out cancer or HIV or paralysis from an accident. As well, they have a history of neglect, abuse, foster care, or they are illegal immigrants. They have a small or broken support system.
Hands down, portraiture. I am drawn to texture and tones and light.
Most of your images exhibit deep and profound emotions with a haunting stillness around. It is mysterious, absorbing, and disturbing sometimes. What are your methods into shooting and your creative approaches?
My creative process is deeply visceral and mostly unconscious. Recently, my challenge has been to articulate my work. I am driven to capture the line between beauty and darkness. I like to play with the notion that there is beauty in darkness. And darkness in beauty. I want to capture the not knowing and uncertainty. Everyone has emotional war stories. Everyone, even children know fear, rage, power, abandonment, violation, bliss, depression, groundedness and being overwhelmed.
I cannot say I have a favorite photo. But I can say I have favorite models, who I would like to photography over and over. They are all children.
Tell us about your achievements, future plans etc.:
Making the cover and feature in SHOTS magazine. Making art with the subjects I photograph and all the wonderful photographer friends who have become family to me.
I would like very much to have a gallery show and gallery representation.
Click until your fingers bleed. Trust your passion. And only do it because your soul has something to say, not because you think you will make money or become famous.