Togetherness. The feeling of being part of a community, feeling as though you are connected to other people. The sharing of closeness with friends and family. This word was the focus and title of the visual project produced by Mikhailia Petersen. Teaming up with photographer Sven Kristian, hair and makeup artist Andrea Kloppers, stylists Naserian Koikai and Sune Smit as well as writer Naserian Koikai, the process of creating this project became an enactment of the idea of togetherness.
Images of a hand placed delicately on top of another’s hand, models holding each other in intimate embraces. Closed eyes, soft hugs and lying on top of one another. The models display signs of affection towards one another, with the softness of the images imitating the soft gestures between the models.
Mikhailia often pairs text with images in the projects she conceptualises. When asked about this she replied by saying, “My work has a special meaning to me. I don’t want my work to be perceived as fashion. It’s more than that. It had substance.” The poem that accompanies the images was written by Naserian as a response to being part of the process of creating the series. It takes on the role of providing context for the viewer, and offering a different entry point to engage with the work. This is not meant to be a prescriptive way of asking viewers to read the work, but is presented more as offering a device to tease out the concept portrayed in the work.
Read the accompanying poem below:
Fingertips pressed against each other
We develop a sixth sense that empties itself in between the lines of our fingertips
I rise from my awakening to float on still waters with effortless grace
You fall from grace as your depth is consumed emptying itself into the rising tide
Together we house life in varying foes with the magnetic force of our energy
I envision soles rooted to the ground seeking nourishment
You nourish my soul pouring out pieces of yourself to help me grow
Together we find sustenance in the giving and sharing of ourselves to ourselves
I am my own rhythm
You heed to the wavelength of my vibrations
Together we sound out our own melody
I seek comfort nestled in the heat of your warmth
You cradle my comfort wrapped in vulnerability
Together we clasp on to the change of our seasons
I inhale the richness of your majesty
You exhale the gravity that comes with it
Together we are pillars of strength with poise
I savour your words
You manifest my thought
Together we create possibilities
Would you be able to recognise yourself with your eyes closed?
The rhythm of your own heart beat
The fragility of your steps
The youthfulness of your being
The synchronised duality attached to the dependency seen in another human being
Do your eyes only open at the point of the other?
Hair and makeup: Andrea Kloppers
Photographer: Sven Kristian
Photography assistant: Alex Paterimos
Styled by: Mikhailia Petersen
Poem by: Naserian Koikai
Produced by: Mikhailia Petersen