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Program

11 May 2020

Eliška Sky Kyselková: A Beginner's Guide for Eco Warriors ***INTERVIEW***

A Beginner's guide for Eco-Warriors is a project created by the art director & photographer Eliška Sky Kyselková. Inspired by the current dramatic changes in Earth’s ecosystem due to the human impact, this project represents, with a certain level of exaggeration and humour, tips and inspirations on how to lower the ecological footprint and contribute to the slowing down of global warming and the protection of natural habitats. A beginner's guide for Eco-Warriors then becomes a tool for eco-warriors and invites for reflection and reaction from viewers.

Eliška Sky Kyselková is a Czech-born UK- based creative photographer, well known for her strong fashion work and photography series exploring themes of consumerism and beauty. We talked to her about her recent project inspired by ecological changes and about the impact of the current quarantine on her life and work.

As a visual artist, you mostly use the medium of photography and film. Would you please introduce your work to our readers?
First of all, thank you so much for this interview! I value the Czech Centre London deeply for showcasing the best Czech art & culture and promoting it abroad. I feel honoured to be one of the artists interviewed!
Now to your question. I love to express my ideas and creativity through a variety of forms, but photography and filmmaking are the closest to me. When I was around 16, I entered a photography competition and the process of capturing my opinions and feelings in a tangible form got me really excited about the visual arts. The main themes I embrace in my work are the diversity of beauty, body acceptance and environmental activism.

The title of your latest project, A Beginner’s Guide for Eco Warriors, seems very personal, almost like a mission statement. Would you tell us more about the project and its genesis?
Yes, A Beginner’s Guide for Eco Warriors is a very important and dear project to me! I find the real purpose in the messages this series brings. I hope to encourage viewers to actively & positively affect the environment and slow global warming. In each photograph and video, I selected one action that anyone could take to create positive change.




Your work is often closely related to fashion. However it was fascinating to see that in A Beginner´s Guide for Eco Warriors you have incorporated not only amazing outfits from new designers and brands, but also audio voice-overs, amazing music tracks and a lot of cultural references. Would you tell us more about the artistic influences behind this very playful take on a very serious topic?
I personally find humour and fun to be very important elements of art and environmental activism. The predictions for the world's future are pretty grim and it breaks my heart to see people, animals & nature suffering because of our actions as humanity. I consider myself interested in the topic, but I still can't bear to watch certain documentaries and videos. I feel that lots of viewers have similar feelings and they can shut themselves down and ignore the actual problem so as not to confront this sad reality. That's why I think it's important to present these issues with a level of humour to make people excited about nature, sustainability and positive change.

In the film you have created a very artistic set of guidelines for the improvement of our current ecosystems. What changes would you like to see in the viewers’ daily lives?
I would love to make people think beyond our 'luxury' lives, where everything is instantly available and look for the sources of things around you. I would like to make viewers think about where clothes, energy and food are all coming from. Appreciating your everyday necessities can make you automatically more environmentally friendly. People could be more savvy about energy usage and change their providers to renewable energy sources, shift their eating habits towards vegetarian/vegan diets and cherish nature. I would love to see people recycling more and reducing the use of cars. Quite often it takes just a couple of extra minutes to take public transport or walk instead!

The current quarantine has brought perhaps a surprising amount of positive changes to the environment and our lives. How has it affected your life and work?
Absolutely! Even though I feel very sad about the situation, there is always something positive. Thanks to the lockdown, my partner and I have more time together, I am able to finish many open projects, learn new skills and have created my first YouTube tutorial photography video Inside the Creative Mind. I'm very excited to see the great environmental impact and positive change in air quality globally. I believe this could be the start for politicians and people to strive for more human-centred cities which care about the  environment and individuals more than the economy.



Head & flower piece: David Brunnbauer / White top: Hawking Yuo Chen / Black corset: Jamie Challinor / Pants: hand made by stylist / Eyes: stylist made


Eliška Sky Kyselková is a Czech Artist and Art Director using the medium of photography and film to capture the diversity of beauty with her surrealistic vision. She is known for her elaborate fashion projects involving large scale set design, playful art series exploring the forms of the human body, and environmental activism. Eliška Sky is the former digital creative consultant for Vogue Czechoslovakia, a current Canon Ambassador and her work has been exhibited at international shows in Prague, New York, Paris, London, Hong Kong and Helsinki. She regularly creates concepts and editorials for fashion publications and magazines. Highlights include: photographing the supermodel Martha Hunt in New York for a Numero Russia cover story, the unique beauty of Melanie Gaydos for Vogue Italia, muses Niko Riam and Michael Moon in Iceland also for Vogue Italia, and modern icons Hungry and Salvia for Vogue Czechoslovakia. Advertising clients include brands like Puma and Preciosa Crystals.

Eliška Sky was the winner of the Portrait of Britain 2018, a Hasselblad Masters finalist 2018 and overall winner of Diversity Now! by i-D magazine in 2015. Forbes Magazine nominated Eliška among the four Czech female photographers dominating the fashion industry in 2019.She is a graduate of the London College of Fashion MA Fashion Photography course at the University of the Arts and currently lives in London.More via
www.eliskasky.com
www.instagram.com/eliskasky

Links:
InsideCreativeMind – YouTube video tutorials   
VISION CHINA MAGAZINE: Making of MORNING RITUALS   
Campaign for PRECIOSA CRYSTALS   
Campaign for ROSE DANFORD-PHILLIPS shot in KEW GARDENS and published on VOGUE TALENTS

 



Red cape: Matilda Aberg / Colourful dress: Ju-nna / Skirt: David Brunnbauer / Gloves: Dohye Yun / Jewellry: Eva Wuyang



Suits like outfit by Nicole Zisman


Jumpsuit and a headpiece: Vincent Lapp / Blouses: Dohye Yun / Shoes: David Brunnbauer / Waist tie: Dohye Yun



Cover image: Head piece: Jamie Challinor / Top: Hawking Yuo Chen / Corset: Shaun Jordan / Skirt: Yasmin Whitlock / White gloves & shoes: Yasmin Whitlock / Black gloves: Jamie Challinor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue:

online

Date

11 May 2020

Organizer:

Czech Centre


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