A recent series (three shoots so far, pictures from the third shoot coming soon) that was inspired by 19th and earlier 20th century literature, classic Gothic stories like Frankenstein and Dracula, and authors such as Dostoevsky and H. P. Lovecraft. I wanted to explore how to communicate the complex relationship between light and darkness in literature with the very visual, non-verbal, very silent medium of photography, to evoke the emotions that horror and Gothic literature might evoke. People continue to be fascinated by these stories, whether they are reading a book or watching a film. Curiosity, excitement, exploration of something dark or dangerous, adventure, loss, deformation, search for humanity – there are so many themes reflected in these stories that continue to appeal to us many decades after they were written. Part I: Composition photography. Playing with and exploring the symbolism of what might be gathered from Dracula’s Garden.

A single peony blossom –
A tallship in the sky
Pink silk, frenetic floating
In clouds of frozen pikes

Gray swirl, the winds of madness
Mount cliffs that know no wood
The castle walls defenseless
Against the howl of doom

Black plum, sweet orchid palate
Blood orange, merlot blooms
Against the royal velvet
His silver goblet looms

It’s filled with wine-like liquid
It smells of sweet perfume
Demure and daft, his victim
Smiles upon the rotting fruit

-A. Sotskova


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Part I: The Flowers of the Garden. Photography by Alina Sotskova.


Part II: The Garden by the Sea.

Shoot by the coast. “Imagine Dracula’s castle on the cliffs by a disturbed and stormy winter sea. With the castle towering on the one side, and the cold water caressing the razor-sharp cliffs on the other side, where can one go?”

Photography by Jason Kirkness. Editing by Alina Sotskova. Concept/costuming/modelling: Alina Sotskova.

“Of Dracula’s Garden,

The fruits are death.

In sunlight, things discarded

And forgotten lay.

The sunset

Is the dawn –

Breathes thought

Into the boiling brine;

Breathes spirit

Into these borrowed eyes of mine;

Breathes life

Where there’s no life by day.

The sadness of the moon

Is what the tides obey.”

-Alina Sotskova