Oleksandr Ivanchenko was born in Sumy, Ukraine in 1980 and lives and works in London. He did his BA (Hons) Media Production in Photography from Farnborough College of Technology in 2007 and a Foundation Degree in Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Management. His work have been displayed in several exhibitions across UK.
I have been interested in photography from the very early age (probably from the age of 7-8). My dad has been very kin amateur photographer, and his love to photography inspired me to start taking photographs as well.
For number of years I was using photography only on the amateur level, mainly photographing holiday trips, family portraits and some landscape pictures and only in 2009 I decided I wanted to know more about photography and possibly becoming a photographer one day, so I applied to Farnborough College of technology on photography program and was accepted. I spent four years studying at the College graduating in 2013 with BA (Hons) in Media Production (Photography).
The four years I spent studying photography changed my view on the industry completely. First of all, I became more driven by art photography and everything that surrounds it, than by commercial photography. I started looking into different picture taking processes, different camera formats, aesthetics, etc. As an outcome I started shooting using medium format and large format analogue cameras.
Today my choice of cameras is greatly influenced by the degree program and it would consist of a number of medium format analogue cameras. During my photographic practice I’ve been using Mamiya RZ67 pro II, Mamiya 7, Fuji GW670 III and RolleyCord.
I’m interested in producing the projects that reveal my personal views on subject matter, be it pollution, environmental issues, social issues or just very private moments of my life. For the period of 6 years, I have been working on six series of work, with some being completed and some still in process. My photo projects, with an exception of one body of work, which is at the very early stages of shooting, can be found on my website.
‘Untitled Stories’ completed college project that didn’t go beyond my education. The only reason I, placed it on the website, is to show my progress and evolution as a photographer, to show what I used to be interested in and, by looking different body of work, what I am interested in now.
‘There is no World’ is a visual journey to the remote place high in Carpathian mountains, showing the hard work and life of local farming community. Shot during the summer months of 2010 in Ukrainian Carpathians. In 2012 it was published in the form of self-published photo zine with the same name.
‘Soul of the Dark River’ – is an ongoing long term project that started in 2011 as one of my degree projects, however it went way beyond it and ever since I’ve been interested to completion the series. The work depicts river Thames and people I met during my numerous trips along its course.
Finally, ‘I dreamt of Summer’ which is featured here was shot in the summer of 2015 during my trip to Ukraine. The full statement of the project is as under:
“I dreamt of summer” is a visual journey to a place, filled with fun, joy and happiness. Place, free from troubles and worries. Place, where you’re surrounded by love and care and not burdened by the hardness of the outside world. It’s a place of my childhood summer.
Many times before, I dreamt of returning to it. I wanted to experience “the summer” again, spend a long hot day bathing in the river or in the lake, get up in the early hours of daybreak and set off for fishing or just relax in the cool shade of an old oak tree by the water.
And one summer I returned there. I returned to the place of my childhood and immersed myself into it to… Only to realize that it is not the place attracted me, but the memory of it. Memory of swimming in a lake, riding a bike or playing the endless outdoor games with friends until you’re completely exhausted. Memory of being there at home and the memory of leaving it.
Now I’m just a visitor, I’m an outsider. I’m the one, who left that place. However, I’m the one, who would return to it again and again driven by the powerful force of longing and nostalgia. And every time I return, I would only find it in my memories. The place has changed, it’s not there anymore. I have changed… Memories are fading away. I can’t see them clear anymore…
And the only place left to see them, is my dreams.
My most recent body of work (it is still untitled and in the process of edit) is shot during the summer 2016 in the Ukraine. Through the series the viewer can have a glimpse at the life and surroundings of 14 year old girl living in one of the provincial towns in Ukraine. You’ll have more info about it soon on my website.
My influences have always been changing over time. Sebastio Salgado was the first photographer whose work really struck me right at the beginning of my study. However, enjoying more colour photography over the black-and-white, I became more attracted by work of great photographers, who worked mainly in colour.
Also, I love reading and movies. I find films by David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan very influential.