Some of Ruta Skemaite’s masterful photographs evoke a feeling of dreamlike stillness, and their simplicity may serve to camouflage the level of technical skill that goes into such images. However, if you look closely at one of Skemaite’s still life photos, you will begin to notice her clear eye for what to include, what to keep in focus and what to allow to recede into the background. This skillful editing of normal objects and everyday scenes is what makes her work so compelling and enjoyable to look at. For example, I was blown away by the crispness of the apple alongside the cloudy haziness of the sheet in this photo from her series, Virtuves Mitu Griovejai 2.
Skemaite graduated with a BA in film and photography from Edinburgh Napier University in 2013, but is originally from Lithuania. Now she divides her time between the UK and her native country, drawing inspiration both from the places she travels to, as well as returning home. She describes her work as both documentary and conceptual. Her series, The Island, for example, not only captures the color and textures of the seaside features, but also creates a series of compelling images that seem to ask the viewer to attempt to decipher a narrative of some sort. In many cases, her documentary technique does not only inform, but it raises greater questions and curiosity about the locations she photographs.
Ruta’s work has won several photography awards and has been featured in exhibitions in both the UK and in Lithuania. While the work that I found most compelling was her still life photography and self-portraits, she also has several impressive series of documentary photography and portraits of others in her online photo-blog. Whether candid or posed, the shots are undeniably striking. Her work can capture the essence of a person or place through details and atmosphere that have to be seen to be believed, so check it out here!