Ioanna Ralli

Ioanna Ralli


My work has always recorded my life, -inner and outer-. My attractions, my pain, my joy, my loves, my searches, my dreams, my passions, my surroundings, my feelings and my thoughts. Perhaps my art has also been fuelled all along by my need to escape.

Since the beginning I have alternated between periods where I have preconstructed the images in my head and then photographed them, periods where I have gone out and photographed whatever of interest presented itself to me, and periods where these two combined.

The subject matter that draws my energy changes as I go through life. As a student in England and the United States what was out-there physically was very important, demanding of me to make sense of the environment. I either photographed on the street or I used models to pose for me so I could experiment with what the human form could give me, dressed or nude, in colour and in black and white.

Perhaps corresponding to the realisation of natureʼs vastness and the human limits, I began to be drawn to big spaces with one or a few little people. This preoccupation has been coming and going since.

After I had a family and was blessed with the company of small children their energy totally absorbed me, and for a few years that was all I wanted to photograph. I have been lucky enough to have close relationships with older people and this has led me to a closer look at old age and the prejudices the contemporary world has towards it.

I often find myself immersed in more abstract concepts. Time, cyclical and linear. History, Prehistory and Art History. The many facets of the feminine and its images. From the Triple Goddess that can be found in most mythologies- Greek, Sumerian, Indian-, to Mother Earth and the Wise Crone. Images and symbols that were once strong and now need fishing out of the unconscious and remodelled in order to make sense in todayʼs psyche.

At some point, I fell in love with a vase of red roses and I became engrossed in still life. Now, for the first time there was a complete absence of the human form in my work. The exuberance of colour, the intense beauty of a flower, a fruit, a musical instrument, together with various other objects I love, and that have been loved by others before me, flooded in natural light, provided me with the material I needed.

For the past three years my work has taken a completely different route. I now construct what I photograph, assuming the role of sculptor, weaver, painter as well as all the other roles traditionally associated with photography.