Dynamic and empathetic photography that captures the connections between science and art
Léa Mariella approaches photography with attentiveness, sensitivity, and clarity. “As a photographer, I constantly question my practice with a clear emphasis on ethics and empathy”, she tells us. Léa closely looks at the visual connections between science and her photography practice, as she explains to us, “combining both scientific and artistic led practices has been a source of inspiration deeply rooted within my creative process, which I have intuitively applied throughout my undergraduate and presently”. Each photograph frames body and form intricately, as muscle, shape, and movement take centre stage.
For her fourteenth birthday, she was gifted a Holga 120 camera by her sister. As a moment that memorably sparked her interest, Léa tells us, “I always kept it in my pocket and experimented with multiple exposures and coloured filters at the time”. Although a passion for photography was building, Léa chose to pursue studies in the sciences. Léa graduated with a higher national diploma in environmental engineering and later a BSc in zoology. Alongside her studies, she continued to take photographs, noting where science and arts met, as she explains, “noticing visual links between sciences and the arts as generalised areas of practice”. After both degrees, Léa worked in various jobs as she developed a portfolio to submit to study photography at university. Léa was accepted to study on the BA communication design course at Glasgow School of Art and made the move from her home country of France. Léa graduated this summer and has another exciting education opportunity in the pipeline – to study a Masters in Medical visualisation and Human Anatomy.
Léa’s most recent works focus on the definition of the body, that being in a political and cultural context. Léa has been able to explore this further through both her graduate work and an artist in residency spot last summer at Project Ability Studios. Here she documented the artists’ creative processes and experiences with physically limiting symptoms and/or mental distress. “This enriching experience coupled with personal physical limitations influenced my undergraduate dissertation focusing on socially constructed views of disability”, she continues, “my graduate work focuses on the body physiologically, where muscle development linked to boxing expanded into an on-going documentary about a boxing club close to where I live”.
Léa not only captures but, studies, observes, and empathises with masterful skill. For her graduate project, she talked to boxers who made her aware of the conditions linked to sport such as traumatic brain injury and experiences of Post-Traumatic Stress disorder. For her masters, Léa plans to explore this area further, as she tells us, “I aim to apply the photographic skills I gained through my undergraduate to keep on documenting and talking to boxers with a focus on human anatomy and potential collaboration on the study of symptoms of brain injury and individual experiences of mental distress”. We’re looking forward to seeing how Léa continues to develop this brilliant project.