//Jesibel was born and raised in the interior of Paraguay, living on farms, far from almost everything. Until last year she lived a nomatic life. She has always been an admirer of nature and all that it implies. Photography entered her life when she won a digital camera in 2010. We present a selection from Jesibel´s “black flowers” series.
“With a camera in hand, I wanted to try some photographic practices that I saw Art Wolfe do in Travels To The Edge on TV, and the photography quickly captured me,” Jesibel says. “In 2011 I was looking for my photographic genre, I did a lot, I photographed everything I saw. Today I identify with the nature genre and its ramifications, but I don’t want to stick to genres, I think that narrows my photographic field.”
“In the different courses that I took, someone always told me to study light,” she adds. “And that’s what I’ve done for about 10 years. Sometimes I take breaks of up to months without shooting and then go back to look for new angles. When I am photographing I think of many things, particular things and things that are happening in the world, photography has become my particular way of understanding or trying to understand what is happening around us…”.
“Art produces the ability to dialogue with diversity, with the world and with humans.”
What draws you to the arts?
“I believe that art is just as important to the mind and body as exercise. For me it would be a way to exercise the mind, move stationary thoughts, move cultures without overlapping principles and ideals. And as the saying goes ”practice makes perfect” I think that also applies to art in all its branches. I believe that all human beings have something artistic within themselves, it is up to us to explore and practice.”
What do you like best about this photographic project?
“What I liked the most about this project was the fact that I developed the idea at the same time that I was photographing. The idea for the project was born at the same time that the sun appeared in that field at that time. I wrote the text at the end of the day, and then I added other photos throughout that week.”
Jesibel made this series while she was walking through the countryside and looking for subjects to photograph, and she saw so many things to photograph around her, plants, logs, etc., but they weren’t “pretty enough”. Then she put her Samsung camera in black and white mode and things changed. There was beauty there, the way she had been looking at it was the problem. “I know that black and white is linked to melancholy, but for me the photographs of “Flores Negras” are not melancholic, on the contrary, they are alive, energetic and dynamic,” she explains. She wrote a text with the intention to encourage people to really pay attention to their surroundings, to not look at everything with the same eyes:
Alforria letters: Black Flowers: Rejected by colours.
We ignore things that our minds reject.Jesibel Fernández
We look at horizons to supply a full mind with emptiness, but, like sugar that makes us too dizzy, then we turn our backs.
We are insatiable.
Between the earth and human there is an unspoken dispute, and its name is “Who does it better?”.
One screams without a voice, and the other wears headphones.
And this is how we hope for another million years of coexistence.
In terms of process Jesibel prefers to go easy on the editing, sticking to mostly adjusting contrast, brightness, shadows, usually in this order. She rarely adjusts colours. “I do not use Lightroom, not because I’m against it but because when I started there was no internet in my region, so I learned that way and that’s how I feel faithful to what I was looking for in photography, even with all the resources I have available to me today. Maybe, maybe I’ll change my mind in a few years,” she says.
She takes most of her photos on Sunday walks, including some images that she had to wait to take until she could get them in good light.”What I look for the most in photography is to find beauty where hardly anyone sees it, I think that’s why I can’t just stick to colour, sometimes things need black and white to stand out, it’s a matter of having an eye.”
Click on the photos to see a larger image in original dimensions. Some images may be cropped for layout.
ALL PHOTOS © JESIBEL FERNÁNDEZ
To see more of her photography visit Jesibel´s website and her Instagram page.