Says Alexey: Every time I think of my country (Belarus), I am reminded of how wonderfully resourceful and creative the people are. Probably those qualities were inherited – together with tolerance – from the Soviet period. As I was born in 1986, I was a citizen of the Soviet Union for part of my early childhood and I still remember my passport with the hammer and sickle on it and the empty racks in the stores.
This series is based on once predominant DIY culture in the country of my origin that developed in the time of my childhood. As I stage my photographs today, I refer to my memories and nostalgic feelings for the things that I have seen and heard in the past, events that I have participated in. In the Appleseed Necklace I am talking about creativity, craftsmanship, diligence and typical recycling that were natural to the people living in conditions of constant shortages. It was a time when one had either to find a way to “snatch” what was needed or to make it out of the accessible materials. Although today this lifestyle is more often seen in domestic decorations, I am trying to revive in my photographs what once was a vital necessity.
Alexey Shlyk was born in 1986 in Minsk, Belarus. He graduated in 2008 with honors from the Belarus State University, specializing in Mathematics. Since starting to work in Fine Arts photography in 2009 Shlyk has had solo exhibitions in Belarus (Museum of Modern Fine Art, Minsk), Russia (Russian Museum of Decorative and Applied Art, Moscow and Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art, Saint-Petersburg), China (Duloun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai) and participated in several international photo festivals (Breda Photo 2016, Format17, BelfastPhoto). In 2017 shortlisted for Prix-Levallois. He is currently enrolled in the master’s program at the Royal Academy ofFine Arts Antwerp with Bert Danckaert and Geert Goiris. Today he lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium.