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Home Is Not A Place” by Tereza Kocholata, a student at Anglia Ruskin University

Watch the session here

I’m Tereza Kocholata and I’m currently studying BA Photography at ARU, Cambridge. I will be talking about my project, called Home Is Not A Place. 

Initially, I have been instinctively working on it long before I knew it. I am someone who has always felt the need to somehow release my feelings as a form of mental health. It’s like, when I let it out – whether I do it through a song, a painting or a photograph – I’m physically making space to feel something new. 

When I was around 17 I went on a school trip to London and later found out my father had gone to London on the exact day thirty years ago & had taken photos on the same camera. I think that that’s when I was like, I have no idea what it is that I’m feeling, but It’s one of the most intense things I’ve ever felt, so, I have to do something about it. I think it was a mixture of grieve, nostalgia & the bittersweet idea of a certain chapter-ending & a new one beginning. I felt connected to something that wasn’t there anymore & saw a specific beauty in it. 

Creating this actually makes me think of Claude Monet. He was painting the same place for his entire life, only in a different atmosphere, different time of day or a season. I think that I will always be drawn to documenting my nostalgic feelings about home. Only with time, they will shift. Maybe they’ll grow to be more intense, maybe one day I won’t feel like this at all. I think that when this day comes it means the project is finished. 

These photos capture moments. They are not staged and I truly think everyone owning a camera could take these. But that’s not what is important for me. Every time the feeling I’ve felt this whole time arose – I pulled out my plastic camera and pressed the magic button. They are a marker in my life that make me feel bigger than me & transform me back to the place and moment. 

I like to think of my photography as a way of telling a story. I would describe it to poetry the most. Sometimes I think that it doesn’t give you the answer, but helps you to look inwards and make you see that you already know the answer. It is why saying the reason I created what I did can be destructive I think. I believe that art should make us feel what we need at different times in our lives and each of us feels a different thing. A simple photo of a sunset isn’t going to make you hear Simon & Garfunkel and think of the boy I was thinking of that evening. But it is going to take you to your own moment. I want you to look at the photos and just let everything that’s happening inside of you come alive. 

Maybe you will see your feelings more clearly. I’d like to transfer people to their place & so they can see and feel whatever they need to. It portraits something we all feel as human beings. 

I like to describe something all of us feel as simply and personally as I can or at least that’s the goal for me. I’m not saying I’m there yet, but that’s why I think it’s a never-ending project. Started in 2017 and is going forever. 

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