Leora Ballon Shlasko
She/Her/Hers | Class of 2022 | International Studies
What I like the most about photography and ceramics is that they allow me to approach the world with curiosity. In this, I mean to say that these art forms ask me to approach the world with different perspectives in mind. You can look at a cup from the top or the bottom––or perhaps from the side as it tilts into someone’s mouth and its contents scorch that same person’s tongue. You could also think about it as a winding snake-like coil that you’ll stack onto itself and smooth over until it creates your desired cylinder. Maybe you won’t smooth over the coils and it will not become a drinking vessel, but rather a cup to hold the stray pencils on my desk.
These photos are pieces of a series that I shot over a summer in Mareuil, France called “Athénaïs is a Girl.” I’m not sure if my work often looks like this, but that summer my life felt like a movie. So many spectacular and sometimes strange things were around me: Athénaïs was one of the spectacular ones. In one moment she would hide behind me from donkeys and in the next she’d jump between eight-foot tall haystacks. I found her brave and inspiring, and I’m incredibly grateful that she and her sisters spent a summer showing me their lives, and, of course, how to feed their goats.