It was the picture of a sunset in a book that sparked my fascination for photography when I was very young. A dying light, a rising darkness, a fleeting moment immortalised. I was casually flicking through that book, just a glimpse changed it all. I was fixated and from the dark room I was in, I was taken to some far-away land.
I have always been attracted to the unknown. Being born in Barcelona, as a child I would spend my time in the playground at Gaudi’s Park Güell drawing spaceships in the sand and imagining I was travelling to different planets, looking for my tribe. That picture had become my spaceship to another place.
It was as a teenager when I first answered the call to study photography, as an optional course at college. It was against my practical non-artistic upbringing, my parents’ will and I didn’t have a camera. Remembering that sunset picture I thought…
…Fuck it! I borrowed my friend’s camera and I did it.
A fire burnt bright. When the course came to an end, I didn’t pursue photography, I started developing episodes of anxiety and panic attacks and felt unable to fight through. I chose instead a university path in economics. It was safe, practical and within family expectations. I started looking for all sort of distractions, until one day, halfway through, I woke up and realised that unless I did something about it, my life would be a lie. A life I would need to constantly distract myself from. As I had managed to handle my anxiety issues I felt strong enough, so I thought…
… Fuck it! I am doing photography.
And I did. And that lead me to London and to my first music photography assignment for Terrorizer Magazine in 2001, thus being able to combine two of my great passions, music and photography. An integral part of extreme metal for over 15 years, and having captured images of the likes of Mayhem, Darkthrone, Rotting Christ, Venom, Abbath, 1349, Ghost, Watain, Electric Wizard, Cathedral, Katatonia, Paradise Lost, At The Gates, Carcass, Triptykon, Shining, Behemoth and others; my images have been featured in every major metal magazine, internet resources and appeared in many albums. Culminating with the release of an anthology photo-book of my work, ‘ARS UMBRA: the Art of Ester Segarra’ via Season of Mist. Including an original soundtrack composed by Uno Bruniusson and designed by Branca Studio and Münster Studio, it is as much a historical document in extreme music, as it is a piece of art in itself.
In the beginning there is only darkness…a black canvas to draw on with light. I see every space as a camera obscura to which I project the light onto in search of the essence. What needs to be brought into the light, what remains in the darkness. What needs to be captured that will transcend that moment in time. My camera becoming the spaceship to travel within the world that is emerging from the shadows, thus the pictures becoming your spaceship into the shadow.
“That which is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.”
2004 – London – Solo Exhibition “Ester Segarra Rock & Metal Photography”
2011 – Gust Van Dijk Gallery. Roadburn Festival (Tilburg, Holland) – Solo Exhibition “Beyond The Road”
2015 – The Crypt Gallery (London, England) – “Dissolve” Shards’ Immersive Performance and joint exhibition with Zbigniew M. Bielak.
2017 – Beyond The Gates Festival (Bergen, Norway) – “The Beasts of the Apocalypse” joint exhibition
2018 – International Tattoo Expo Roma (Rome, Italy) – Part of Yama Tattoo 10th Anniversary exhibition.
2018 – Triptych Gallery (Kiev, Ukraine) – “Idols: The Art Of Heavy Metal” with Ukraine’s painter Nikita Tsoy and sculptor Igor Grechanyk.