The book is an artistic exploration of intimate states of mind: tenderness and self-awareness, softness and power, openness and introspection, loneliness and pleasure. Leather pieces by Fleet Ilya are key to creating and capturing these states – harnesses, belts, collars and leather lingerie become a point of connection between the heroines, the photographer, the writer and the viewer. It is a precious documentation of how leather can impact our consciousness and our bodies.
“I loved seeing how the Fleet Ilya designs came into relationship with our bodies. Working with high quality crafted pieces is always a pleasure,” Ekaterina Bazhenova-Yamasaki
Atom emerged from almost a decade-long collaboration between Bazhenova-Yamasaki and Fleet Ilya. Both the artist and the label are committed to exploring the body and the power of eroticism. The book was a joint labour of love during the last two years of the global pandemic – the turbulent time to contemplate closeness, connection, desire and our relationship with our bodies and surrounding environments.
“The tactile element of the book itself is very satisfying, a textured cover, smooth satin pages, interspersed with pearlescent transparent pages. Skin and leather, bound flesh, flowing hair, freedom and restriction, natural eroticism, it’s an exploration of the senses which is key to the story we try to tell as creatives. An opportunity for a bit of a 'digital detox' for those wanting to explore intimate imagery in an intimate context,” Resha Sharma
Atom,edited by Fleet Ilya co-founder Resha Sharma, comprises portraits of five heroines within their private spaces, still lives, immersive nature shots by Bazhenova-Yamasaki and poetic text by Beata Duvaker.
The book challenges the traditional ideas and depictions of the female body and leather garments. It combines the plurality of female perspectives and voices from the collaborators and the heroines depicted in its pages – a testament to that underrepresented point of view when it comes to photography, sexuality and leatherwork. It is a fluid, gentle and powerful reflection on autonomy, freedom and self-determination.
Text is an integral part of Atom – it was produced by Beata Duvaker who interviewed each of the four heroines to gather their thoughts on power, vulnerability, sexuality, desire, the body and mind – and then translated these into poetry.
“My favourite part of taking part in this project was to realize and document how this experience evoked a sense of being in charge, and in extension to self liberation, learning things about yourself and how to be present with your body. I appreciate leather as a material that is durable and alive, and have always aimed to find a "second skin" to wear and keep close to me as an object. Previous to discovering the brand and pieces by Fleet Ilya, I had never worn leather directly on the skin. I remember holding them in my hand before wearing them, and how it was heavy and soft. It gave me a new conception of leather,” Beata Duvaker