The work of Katka Pračková reflects continual interest in the Portrait.
A specific means of expression represented in her photographic language uses so-called Photography sfumato: the passage of light and shadow, its refinement and slight blurring.
Her portraits emerge peculiarly from darkness to light and this particular characteristic of Pračková’s photography can be connected to parallel of classical photographers of the 19th century as Nadar and Julia Cameron.
The title of her series Slávi©k Soul is a play on words, Slávik is Nightingale in a her native Slovak language, Slavic stands for her Slavic-Slavonic heritage and Soul as reflection of True Being or Inner Woman by which the author titles her photographs. This work displays different generations of women of her close circle. Katka has focused on simple forms of women in the darkness and she uses her typical signature – soft focus. These portraits of women, where the family ties can be felt – the mother – daughter – granddaughter are a fleeting record of fragile moment and these photographs tenderly celebrate women and femininity.
A decent accessory in these portraits is a head adornment-protection so called Parta traditionally used in Slovak – Slavic traditions as a part of folk costumes-garb.
This “decorative” element which had different forms according to the status of women in society (bride, married, single, widow, etc) and currently there is a significant boom in the young generation of women using it as “modern fascinator” – jewelry, Katka implements in her portraits to highlight woman’s individual personality comes mainly from the works of Slovak author Hogo Fogo.
More than 20 portraits of women in the Oval composition, produced in traditional (analogue) way using a special positive material Foma Chamois is mature work of the author with a strong historic reference to the beauty and fascination of the original nature of the photographic medium.
Text by Silvia Saparová