Started in 2016 by Europe-based photographer Alexandra Sarah, @ButtermilkWave is an ongoing project – a concept, an abstract idea through which the artist focuses mainly on intimate minimalistic portraiture – with a hint of fashion – to express her own state of mind.
Just like buttermilk itself, the portraits are both bitter and sweet, with a touch of acid and darkness, yet still soothing and ever-flowing. This represents the artist’s mentality; her personal experience with depression contradicts with her positive outlook and faith in the world, her heaviness of heart fighting every single day with her lively character.
Even though Alexandra Sarah employs image processing software, such as Photoshop, to better create her concept visually, she does not use it to alter personal characteristics or erase “flaws” – for she does not believe they exist. By engaging into more minimal approaches, and through the use of mostly cold and pastel tones, she makes her subjects her sole centre of attention, and brings out the genuine beauty that lies in each and every person.
After spending her childhood in a hospital room – filling the walls with drawings to pass the time – Francesca’s passion for art led her to Glasgow School of Art. Francesca then spent five years developing her design and embroidery skills, graduating with an honours degree in Textiles. Since then, she had the opportunity to learn, and progress her work further, in a costume department creating 18th century embroideries and costumes. Finally after being surrounded by so many talented and inspiring people, she decided to produce a collection of her own work, entitled A Journey from IBD to Italywhich combined two projects she had previously explored.
Her aim for the first of these projects was to turn something ugly into something beautiful – her experience of “ugly” was her childhood illness of ulcerative colitis and osteoporosis. Francesca looked at examples of the cells of the disease, as well as objects and textures which reminded her of both these cells and the crumbling of bones resulting from osteoporosis. She then tried to create “beauty” from her own interpretations of this research. The other personal project was her travels in Italy, during which she documenting the shapes and textures she saw in everything she passed – from the stones in the old cobbled streets to the beautiful mosaics and marble colours in the churches. These two projects are brought together in her cut works and embroideries.