Through the makeshift frame of a blue rubber ring, Ukrainian photographer Kirill Golovchenko captures seaside scenes in his home country. He focuses in on weird and wonderful holiday-going subjects, allowing the busy surroundings to soak in like the sunscreen on their shoulders.
‘Out of the Blue’ is unashamedly voyeuristic, singling out sunburnt faces, sandy bums and play fights. Despite this, the series lands Golovchenko in a position of joining in, with the blue ring appearing reminiscent of a pretend ship’s porthole or a view whilst playing ‘hide and seek’. His playful use of this formal device simulates feelings of possibility and make-believe at a beach vacation, enhancing the offbeat feeling of the images and the eccentricity of the characters photographed.
‘Out of the Blue’ also holds a lot of personal value to Golovchenko, a self-proclaimed holiday-maker who reminisces learning to swim with a rubber ring. Regarding his role as a photographer, he remarks that the ring “conceals you, isolates you, but also makes you visible. It helps you focus, both as the photographer and as the observer.” Elaborating on this discovery, he states: “What’s important is that the viewer recognizes the shape of the swimming tyre and when viewing the images is taken to another level, one between staged reality and documented reality.” The series was awarded the European Photo Exhibition Award.