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Creatives in Confinement: Dasha Love

Interview 13.04.20

In this new series, ALSO talks to creative women around the world during the current COVID-19 global pandemic on how their output has changed, coping strategies for isolation and their hopes for the future. 

Dasha Love is a photographer and visual artist from Russia, who started her career in London and LA and currently resides in Auckland, New Zealand, where she is in quarantine at her friends’ place.

Dasha’s photo of Great Barrier island she shot, manipulated, developed and scanned herself for a colour study. It didn’t turn out how she intended but says it makes her want to keep working.

“I get that in times of need you stick to the basics. But I think people also understand that there is a way to elevate your spirit through art. “

Where are you right now and how are you coping?

I’m doing surprisingly well. I’m waiting for my visa and was supposed to start a new job yesterday, but instead I’m staying on my friends’ floor in Auckland with no certainty.


Are you doing anything creative on your friend’s floor?

That’s on pause right now. I was waiting to start a photography job for a big high street retailer, but because of Corona that didn’t happen. And I don’t have my chemicals here. I didn’t even buy any film before the lockdown because I was a bit in denial and a bit broke. I tried to draw but it’s not as good. I feel like there are people in quarantine, who are producing all this incredible art, but I’m not one of them, I’m just trying to chill out.


Not everyone can be creative during a global disaster..

I’d be ok to do my chemicals work, where I manipulate images I took on film, but in terms of coming up with ideas for shooting pictures it’s a no. I can’t think about that.


What’s the situation like in New Zealand?

People are taking it fairly well here, they do what they need to. I went to the park the other day and it felt like a hospital ward, everyone was walking around really slowly and two metres away from each other. Hopefully we’ll get over the curve quickly. Being in a country with a female PM putting her foot down means a lot to me, being from Russia.


What have you heard about Russia?

I’m worried about it, I think people are in denial, like they are too tough for Corona.


Is your whole family there at the moment?

Yes, they’re all there. It’s freaking me out, I’d love to go to Russia to see them. That used to be a matter of choice or finances but now it’s a matter of closed borders, I probably can’t go see my family for another year. I hadn’t thought about it before but earlier today I did, and I questioned my priorities. Maybe they weren’t right, maybe I should have thought about my family before, now it’s a real crisis.


Do you think a crisis like that will impact your future work? Will it make you re-evaluate what you’ve been doing?

Well it kind of makes you think that your job means nothing at the end of the day, it’s ultimately not a job that people need.


That’s a big question, is art really something people don’t need?

I get that in times of need you stick to the basics. But I think people also understand that there is a way to elevate your spirit through art. You’re better off with that than with material things.


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