CORAL REEFS. AN ENDANGERED WORLD WITHIN OUR WORLD. A MYSTICAL UNIVERSE WHERE COLOURS ARE VIBRANT AND ELECTRIC AND WHERE ALL IS NOT ALWAYS WHAT IT SEEMS WITH CAMOUFLAGE AND SHAPE CHANGING THE WAY WE SEE THINGS. THIS IS THE MAGICAL WORLD THAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR THE UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN PHOTOGRAPHER GRAHAM MARTIN AND ARTIST JYLLE NAVARRO.
A few years back Jylle Navarro has been described as a one-to-watch knitwear designer, though I believe that definition doesn’t even begin the explain what Jylle is all about. True, she engages in a range of different techniques from hand knitting, machine knitting and macramé to create her highly visible garments, but there is so much more to it. Photographer Graham Martin introduces Jylle to us as a leading neon artist creating fashion, installations and wall art that has been exhibited in several London galleries. Now there is a description that gives credit to this wonderful creative artist.
The inspiration for Jylle Navarro’s creations originate from the graphic images of sci-fi films and graphic novels, such as ‘Alien’, ‘Mars Attacks’, and ‘Planet 9 from Outer Space’. Whether it is clothes, installations or, in this case, photo art, her creations provoke intense reactions. Her clothes, her art, her imagery… everything is reminiscent of supernatural, shape-shifting creatures, dripping substances and ‘other worldly’ elements. Her collaboration with Graham Martin and Steven Di Costa is no exception to this.
Graham Martin is all about creating beautiful pictures of men. It is his primary objective to create art with every frame and work that people desire to hang on their walls. Of course, having a desirable model is part of it but it’s up to the photographer to work with the model to bring everything to life, and that is what Graham tries and achieves. In his Octopussy series he pushes even further. Not only did he work with much sought-after model Steven Di Costa, he also threw Jylle Navarro in the mix. The result, obviously, a most provocative, colourful and creative series that gives a whole new meaning to eating sushi.
A flame haired masculine Adonis with a fantastic personality and true talent. That is what we said about Steven Di Costa a few years ago. And that is the opinion we still have of him. Half Australian, half Italian he is an incredible handsome man with a beautiful physique and some truly stunning photos in his portfolio. Steven moved to the United Kingdom when he was 18 and has since lived partly in London and in Paris, France. Steven is not one to shy away from a challenge, and the shooting of Octopussy certainly was one. Graham martin says: “Creating the series “Octopussy” required a model that was prepared to harness the theme and not be afraid of the unusual. Our model, Steven Di Costa is no stranger to modelling and always gives 100% to any project, this shoot was no exception.”
Real but not live octopuses were sourced for the shoot to keep a feeling of realness using various neon colours to dramatic effect. The colours and shapes Jylle applied on both octopuses and Steven create exactly that ever-changing camouflage effect so reminiscent to the beautiful coral reefs. The result, a series of photographs that are as bizarre, as magical, as alien and as beautiful as those almost unearthly living creatures in our oceans. –BM-