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Petra Cvelbar, foto: Žiga Koritnik

Petra (rojena v Ljubljani) se je za fotografijo navdušila dokaj pozno, v zadnjem letniku gimnazije, ko je njena prijateljica iskala nekoga, s katerim bi se prijavila na fotografski tečaj. Imela je srečo, da jo je v svet fotografije poepeljal prezgodaj umrli slikar in fotograf Dušan Pirih Hup. Skupaj sta se poglabljala v osnove fotografije, začenši s kamero obscuro, več ur zaprta v temnici KUD France Prešeren ali pa se zadrževala v njeni bližini in iskala motive za različne naloge. Imela je nekaj skupinskih razstav, na katerih je razstavljala sadove teh raziskovanj.

Kot študentka (FDV, smer: kulturologija) se je s fotografijo ukvarjala na teoretični ravni, jo po možnosti vključevala v seminarske naloge in celo diplomirala iz fotografije. Ker pa je za preživetje potrebno imeti službo – in vedela je, da je imela knjig ya nekaj časa dovolj – je iskala poklic, kjer je potrebna vsaj nekaj ustvarjalnosti. V tem času je precej zanemarila fotografijo in se posvetila študiju in raziskovanju grafičnega oblikovanja. Trenutno je art direktorica slovenske izdaje revije Cosmopolitan.

Leta 2008 je njeno zanimanje za fotografijo ponovno vzbudilo povabilo, da razstavlja v Bohinju na Festivalu Kanal. Njeno samostojno razstavo, v kateri je predstavila fotografije zadnjih desetih let, je naslovila Moji najljubši kitaristi. Glasba jo je vedno privlačila, bodisi kot poslušalko bodisi kot fotografinjo. V Bohinju je spoznala tudi odličnega slovenskega fotografa Žigo Koritnika. Tako je od udeležbe na njegovi fotografski delavnici (2009) zasvojena s fotografijo in glasbo, ki sta danes sestavni del njenega življenja. Glasba se ji zdi zdravilo in poživljajoč dvig energije. Fotografije, ki jih posname med koncerti, so njen način delitve lepot sveta, ki ga je tako lepo znova odkrivati in se mu prepustiti.

Nekaj fotografij iz prejšnjih let je na spletni strani Jazz italia.

PETRA’S PHOTO EXHIBITIONS

  • 2020: ArtPhotoActs– skupinska fotografska razstava v Gallery of the Marktgemeinde St. Johann in Tirol, Avstrija
  • 2018: V ženskih rokah – samostojna razstava, Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, Slovenija
  • 2018: Sladka odvisnost – samostojna razstava v okviru festivala artacts, St. Johann in Tirol, Avstrija
  • 2018: Zlatko Kaučič: 40 years of playing – skupinska razstava po različnih mestih v Sloveniji – prvo razstavno mesto v mestni knjižnici, Kranj, Slovenija
  • 2017: “Jazzy-ga! in učenci” – Skupińska razstava v okviru festivala  Jazz Cerkno – Cerkljanski muszej, Cerkno, Sloveija
  • 2016: Sladka odvisnost – samostojna razstava, Hisa Kulture, Smartno, Sloveijia
  • 2016: In-between-space – skupinska razstava, Loški muzej, Škofja Loka, Slovenija
  • 2015: Sladka odvisnost – samostojna razstava v okviru Skopje Jazz Festivala, Skopje, Severna Makedonija
  • 2014: V ženskih rokah – samostojna razstava, Stockwerk Jazz, Graz, Avstrija
  • 2014: Double Vision (Dvojni pogled) – skupinska razstava v okvru festivala Unlimited28, Wels, Avstrija
  • 2014: Portret Mats Gustafsson 50 – skupinska razstava/projekcija v Porgy & Bess, Dunaj, Avstrija
  • 2014: V ženskih rokah – samostojna razstava Layerjeva hiša, Kranj, Slovenija
  • 2013: Petrain svet – samostojna razstava, Jesharna, Škofja Loka, Slovenija
  • 2013: ‘To je naša glasba!’ – skupinska razstava, Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, Slovenija
  • 2013: Petrin svet  – samostojna razstava, Metna knjižnica, Ljubljana, Slovenija
  • 2013: Jazz-World-Photo  -skupinska razstava v okviru festivala  Jazzinec v Trutnov, Češka
  • 2011: Sladka odvisnot – samostojna razstava, Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, Slovenija
  • 2010: DObra bera – skupinska razstava, Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, Slovenija
  • 2008: Moji najljubši kitaristi – samostojna razstava v okviru festivala Kanal Bohinj, Slovenija
  • 1998: KUD France Prešeren, letna razstava fotografske delavnice – Skupińska razstava, Slovenija
  • 1996: KUD France Prešeren, letna razstava fotografske delavnice – Skupińska razstava, Slovenija
  • 1994: KUD France Prešeren, letna razstava fotografske delavnice – Skupińska razstava, Slovenija

Fotografska razstava Sladka odvisnost, Skopje // foto: Žiga Koritnik

ABOUT PETRA’S PROJECTS

About her project Sweet Addiction through Luca Vitali‘s eyes:

The essence of beauty of music… condensed in a glance. This is the feeling Petra’s photographs have raised in us in these last years: that of an immense beauty!

These photos are her personal way to illustrate the charm of the world and share her passion for jazz. It is of vital importance to her to achieve this goal and surrender to such charming addiction.

 “Sweet Addiction” – what better name for one of her exhibitions? – recalls the sweetness of her smile, her love for music and its advocates, but also brings to mind the power of her framing and her musical tastes.

Yes, Petra loves venturing into seismic musical matter to be handled with care, so far from the mainstream track. Free Jazz and improvised music is the area in which she has managed to create a noteworthy space and a reputation, standing out for quality and distinction. Many must have noticed these talents of hers, since records with pictures of her on the cover or in the liner notes come through my hands time and again…

Petra’s world is made of inspired moments, whose leading characters are always shown in the best light. An amazing job whose roots lie in a particular poetic vein and does not need to resort to such contemporary “tricks of the trade” as desaturation and contrast –which seem to gratify many of her colleagues who end up depicting a world that is merely populated by synthetic masks, as of Plasticine. Petra’s subjects retain their human, vibrating side and her tale is one of empathy and art: she does not intend to capture with special effects, but emphatically takes part in the creative process, the unexpected, the epiphany which demands respect and observation… since, above all, Petra loves music and respects its exponents. She is not the “ruthless” photographer you often chance to meet at festivals mercelessly taking rapid-fire pictures – in a continuous “annoying” movement just few inches away from the musicians. She moves soft-footed and captures moments of creativeness unperceived, unaffectedly and with great discretion.

Every shot stands between two moments of listening, mid-way between the eyes-closed and the eyes-open state: watchful and powerful eyes knowing well how to catch real gems in just one second.

“Sweet Addiction” is more than just an exhibition: it is Petra’s personal journey to quell her addiction to jazz music.

by Luca Vitali, 2015

About her project Sweet Addiction through Ken Vandermark‘s eyes:

There are important parallels in the history of development between photography and jazz and improvised music.  Photography began to find its voice as an art form when it moved away from an attempt to replicate 19th century painting conventions and entered the modernism of the 20th century.  As that happened, photographers were present to document artists who were creating one of the most important and influential music forms of the new century.  Fans and critics gained a deeper appreciation and understanding of jazz and improvised music through iconic images taken by photographers like William Claxton, William Gottlieb, Herman Leonard, Val Wilmer, and Francis Wolff; of artists like Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Mary Lou Williams, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and Ornette Coleman.  The music kept evolving and photography kept changing, both art forms incorporated different aesthetic ideas and innovations in technology as the century progressed.  Now- in the beginning of the new millennium- the profusion of music that can downloaded or streamed online, and the superabundance of images that can be taken and viewed on every phone, has created a situation that can make it very difficult to actually be heard as a musician or seen as a photographer.

Petra Cvelbar is special in this regard.  Her photographs are much, much more than the now typical shots of people onstage playing their instruments. The work stands out, it is individual. She does what few photographers have been able to do since the early 20th century- truly capture an improvising artist “in the moment.” This is an ongoing challenge because- both from the standpoint of the musician and the photographer – it’s a moment that can’t be planned, it is unpredictable and takes place during a spontaneous course of parallel action between the player and image maker.  Despite these complexities, Petra Cvelbar has been able to indicate the 21st century reality for this music by showing individuals in the midst of creating or as characters in an instant of candid attitude- being human and who they are, as improvising artists and as people.

by Ken Vandermark, 2018

About her project Sweet Addiction through Ken Vandermark‘s eyes:

There are important parallels in the history of development between photography and jazz and improvised music.  Photography began to find its voice as an art form when it moved away from an attempt to replicate 19th century painting conventions and entered the modernism of the 20th century.  As that happened, photographers were present to document artists who were creating one of the most important and influential music forms of the new century.  Fans and critics gained a deeper appreciation and understanding of jazz and improvised music through iconic images taken by photographers like William Claxton, William Gottlieb, Herman Leonard, Val Wilmer, and Francis Wolff; of artists like Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Mary Lou Williams, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and Ornette Coleman.  The music kept evolving and photography kept changing, both art forms incorporated different aesthetic ideas and innovations in technology as the century progressed.  Now- in the beginning of the new millennium- the profusion of music that can downloaded or streamed online, and the superabundance of images that can be taken and viewed on every phone, has created a situation that can make it very difficult to actually be heard as a musician or seen as a photographer.

Petra Cvelbar is special in this regard.  Her photographs are much, much more than the now typical shots of people onstage playing their instruments. The work stands out, it is individual. She does what few photographers have been able to do since the early 20th century- truly capture an improvising artist “in the moment.” This is an ongoing challenge because- both from the standpoint of the musician and the photographer – it’s a moment that can’t be planned, it is unpredictable and takes place during a spontaneous course of parallel action between the player and image maker.  Despite these complexities, Petra Cvelbar has been able to indicate the 21st century reality for this music by showing individuals in the midst of creating or as characters in an instant of candid attitude- being human and who they are, as improvising artists and as people.

by Ken Vandermark, 2018

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