2016-02-04 ‘I believe that I was always destined to enter a creative profession’
Born and raised in Samara on the Volga River in Russia, Katerina Belkina made Berlin her home three years ago, convinced that the move would be beneficial for her career.
“I believe that I was always destined to enter a creative profession,” she says. “I have an art education and my background is perhaps more like that of a painter than a photographer. “However, there are people in my family who just love photography – my mother is an artist and my father is a mathematician and an art connoisseur – and it’s been a passion of mine since childhood. I studied at a photo academy and practiced long and hard to gain the skills I needed. My first serious pictures were taken when I was just 14 and I’m still learning.”
Katerina’s Masters winning image is entitled ‘The Sinner,’ and it was created last year to mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of the great German Renaissance artist Lucas Cranach The Younger. “I had always wanted to make an allegory on the theme of connection between the art of the past and the present,” she says. “At first I plunged into study: reading articles, watching movies and finding out all that I could about the Cranach family.
“I was particularly inspired by Cranach’s painting ‘Christ and the Adulteress.’ He regularly used religious inspiration and motifs, and this is the moment when Jesus prevents the crowd stoning Mary Magdalene by stating: ‘Let any one of you who is without sin cast the first stone.’
“I began to think about a modern interpretation of the Mary Magdalene character and, by coincidence, I was pregnant myself at the time. We are all sinners and commit our sins easily every day, but at the same time in each of us there is an essence of purity, which is symbolised here by the baby in the womb. The rest was easy: the selection of modern props – the wardrobe that’s behind me and the IKEA chair I’m sitting on – and I went with simple hair and costume. “My husband assisted me, and of the 30 shots we took that day there was only one where I was completely happy with the expression. I then spent five days in postproduction getting the look just right, and I was very happy with the final result.”
Winning the award has meant a great deal to Katerina. “It’s amazing to be associated with some of the great names that have won Hasselblad Masters Awards in the past,” she says. “It’s also incredible to think that, after wanting one for so long, I’m finally going to get a Hasselblad of my own. Now I cannot wait to get it in my hands!”
Facebook: Katerina Belkina
See all the winning entries in Hasselblad Masters 2016 here
The ten winners will be tasked to create a new and unique set of images, using a Hasselblad Medium Format camera, embracing the theme ‘Inspire’ (coinciding with Hasselblad’s 75th anniversary) for the latest edition of the Hasselblad Masters Book. The Winners will receive their trophy and their own Hasselblad camera to keep at a special photokina 2016 ceremony in Cologne this September.