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Lena Smelansky

“Elena Smelansky – Photographer”

“Elena Smelansky – Photographer” was the definition I ran into, having looked up myself on the web.

I was a photographer since I was young – I got a simple camera as a gift from my father, signed into a photography class and… up until now, my relatives, neighbors,friends, and class-mates have those photos.

Born and raised at the Far East of Russia, on the isle of Sakhalin. I was living in a small harbor town, which had a few grade and middle schools, and one sailors school, where young boys were taught long-distance sailing, and other seamanship disciplines. But where could a girl study?

1975 in Kishinev, where I was sent by my parents to live with my aunt, I graduated from exhibition designers classes. What inspired my choice was my previous experience with an extra curriculum in school, at The Military and Labor Honor Museum. Assisting with items presentation, I had to attach a little paper sheet, where I have written the story that this item represented. Written in tiny black letters.

During these classes my aspirations became more clear, and I found myself in St. Petersburg, standing at the doorstep of the Muchina Academy of Applied Arts. I was not accepted that year, so I had to find a job. A friend suggested the hospital, there you could work as a paramedic in twenty four hour shifts. I was separated from my friend, though, and sent to the emergency room, where images of misfortune were replaced by those of tragedy.

In 1987, I finally graduated from the Muchina Academy, department of industrial design.
1990 – Immigrated to Israel with my husband and daughter.

The camera was constantly by my side, constantly in action.

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