Visceral. I made myself a promise not to use the word in this piece. Well, it is really hard to talk about the beauty in brokenness without committing some breaking yourself.
It is one of the few words that come close to capturing what Jebet’s photos are about. A journey down the rabbit hole that is her instagram page takes you through nicely arranged emotional moments. You see a photograph, probably a fine portrait, you also experience some sort of emotion.
Few photographers express emotions like Jebet. All photographers capture emotion, if I could be licentious here. Some can it, some show it, yet others demonstrate it, but Jebet expresses it. The raw emotions in her photos do not leap at you, they tug at you, and then slowly seep into you, finally entangling you.
Once you familiarize yourself with the account, you can able to see other equally interesting things, like how the images are nicely arranged. For her, it is about presentation as much as it is about expression.
Emotion is important to Jebet. It is not integral to her work, all of her artistic work is based on it.
I take photos of whatever makes me feel… I work a lot with how I feel.
For her, art is about expressing feelings. She would love it if people expressed their feelings more.
People feel emotions and they do not express them. So, you move on with your life carrying that burden. It is because you did not express yourself. You bottle it up and then you explode one day over some damn shit.
That is not surprising considering her work is quite personal to her.
It is part me dealing with my stuff. I feel, or rather, I hope that is what it is doing for me because it makes me feel better to express the way I feel, in any way.
She has explored other artistic ways of expression; painting, much recently, she started playing the piano, and she is thinking of going back to one of her earlier loves, drawing. She writes as well. For her, she will go for the medium that will make those emotions flow, even if she doesn’t know much about it, she will teach herself. In fact, it is the failure for writing, something she used to do a lot a while back, to successfully provide a conduit for her emotions that led her into expressive self-portraiture.
I was feeling so much, but I couldn’t write anymore. I’d start writing and I could only end up with scribbles. For some reason, I couldn’t just write what I was feeling. So I figured, why not take pictures of what I am feeling, or try and show what I am feeling. So, it started as a me thing. Naturally, it just flowed that way. But I have been thinking about trying something with other people, or someone else.
She greatly admires Dread, a New York based photographer whose work she gushes over while using expressions like …the craziest shit I have ever seen..so beautiful…so emotional…so raw.
Just like Naava plans to start doing, Dread uses other people, in addition to herself, as subjects in her emotionally laden portraits. Maybe, she could be a loose pointer to how this young photographer’s progress might go.
However, at the moment, even for images that do not feature people, she seeks to ensure that the mood of whatever/whomever/wherever she is photographing is felt. So she endeavours to capture that. And that is something to be curious about. As it stands, she has most of her day to dedicate to shooting images as she took a gap year to concentrate on photography. Thus far, it is impressive for this young photographer who first seriously picked up a camera three years back. It could be interesting to see where her journey leads her in the next few years as well.