BY NATALYA NOVA
Natalya Nova, is a Russian artist from New York. She talked to us about her small project with Gwen who is a trans woman.
“In 2011 I was studying at the International Center of Photography. The subject of our yearbook was Dream. A friend of mine introduced me to Gwenviere, or Gwen, which she prefers. Gwen was transitioning from a man to a woman. I thought that was a big Dream and wanted to hear her story.
I arrived in Brooklyn and entered Gwen’s world. A one bedroom apartment filled with little dolls, colorful blankets and pillows, weed and whippets. I was an avid stoner at the time, so I felt right at home. Gwen was a delight, so welcoming and sweet. She told me about her friendship with Courtney Love, the novel that she wrote, her yoga practice, favorite movies (“Heathers”). I brought a large format 4×5 camera with me, which was so different from the digital that I was used to. We played around with it, not being too concerned about the results. We sang songs and sang songs again. I found her so beautiful and fragile.
Even though the situation was unusual, I felt like I understood Gwen and what she wanted. It was the same thing I wanted. Freedom. Freedom to be who you wish to be, freedom from childhood traumas, shackles of the heart, insecurities, unnecessary thoughts. I realized that’s the real Dream project.
Since that time Gwen moved to California and, according to her facebook, is enjoying her life.
I, on the other hand, am still in New York and inspired to share Gwen’s photographs with you.”