Ballerina is a project by Toronto-based photographer Vanessa Paxton. According to the artist, the series is a “photographic exploration into the simultaneous freedom and solitude of the dancer.” Her goal was to create images that feature a rhythm of falling into sleep or waking up from a dream, the feelings of twilight consciousness where nothing exactly makes sense.
The bright white of the costumes set against the stark black background evokes a light and airy feel in which each dancer seems to be floating in a vast space of nothingness. The indefinite setting gives no context to the scenes, allowing viewers to create all kinds of narratives about the dancer and her story, while the light sprinkle of dust that reveals itself in the single spotlight lures us away from a solid reality into a whimsical daydream. Paxton’s Ballerinas are reminiscent of an Alice in Wonderland journey, where a young girl navigates great adventures through a mysterious land.