Meet Celeste Patten and Colette Pomerleau: Berlin-based artists who collaborated on the series 'SAD,' an ode to seasonal depression. Photographer Colette brought dancer Celeste's creative vision to life through this series of photographs. They tell Brenda about their individual artistic backgrounds, how 'SAD' was brought to life, and what inspires them as artists.
"I’m originally from Seattle, Washington, in the USA. Dance has been a key part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve been letting it guide me through the different chapters of my life, allowing it to manifest in an array of forms, pieces and choreography. This year I joined an international digital dance collective called Littlespeak. Its aim is to bring together dancers, directors, fashion designers, film makers and other creatives with the intention of creating a dance-forward global platform making visually stunning works to change how the world understands dance.
My concept for SAD came about this past February. I was so sick of the cold and grey weather that I forgot what sunshine felt like. Thankfully on the 16th, we had a really nice day, and decided to meet up in Tempelhofer Feld (an old airport turned park in Berlin). It was such a beautiful day and I was just so happy to be living in the moment with my friends and with the sun. Promptly after it got grey again but I kept thinking of that day using the memory as fuel until the next sunny day could recharge my batteries. I talked to the members of littlespeak and some other friends who are talented dancers and creators and they all were very optimistic and wanted to be a part of making a piece that reflected the memory of that sunny day."
The project came to life in a bar with some of my friends. I shared with them my inspiration for the piece and they were eager to be a part. I created a mood board of pastel pants, wet eyeshadow, and pink leg hair to set the tone. We had some rehearsals where we played with movement quality and emotion. I led them through guided improvisation, allowing them to find their own way of capturing and translating this sentiment of warm bliss. Through everyone's individual input, we managed to create our own little world, full of different steps, shapes and forms. With littlespeak and friends the piece was full of talented movers, film crew, make up artists, and costume designers."
Authenticity, the drive to create, and collaboration with other beautiful minds inspires me as an artist. I believe that in order to really create something wonderful, we have to push ourselves out of our comfort zones, but also allow our paths to cross with others - this is the best way to expand our sensitivity towards art and in turn, broaden our horizons for future projects."
"I was invited to come by to take photos while Celeste's piece 'SAD' was being filmed by a videographer for their upcoming launch of Littlespeak this year. Like the last shoot, it was all very spontaneous, fast-moving, with very little direction spoken. I've worked with most of the choreographers involved with this project, so the collaboration was super natural.
"I've had my own experiences of seasonal depression. Living in both Portland, Oregon and Berlin, Germany have brought those extreme mood swings and lack of motivation to life - especially since I'm a Las Vegas native. Celeste and I spoke about 'SAD' more whilst I was editing photos from the shoot. I called the series "we're not lonely anymore" because being an active member of a community is what I look for following the dark months- it makes me feel alive again.
I'm inspired by very specific things lately: overlooked buildings, the beginnings of a cult, uncomfortable exchanges, obsessively dissecting the mundane, and deeply emotive portraits."
Photographer: Colette Pomerleau
Stylist + overall concept: Celeste Patten
MUA: Lara Barten