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Snezhana Von Büdingen-Dyba

Meeting Sofie<br />

Hero Image for Snezhana Von Büdingen-Dyba

Through mesmerising portraits, the exhibition tells the story of Sofie’s coming of age, living with her family in a secluded 16th-century picturesque mansion in the small village of Eilenstedt in Germany. The photographs focus on her daily life there and the ups and downs of teenage years – first love, first heartache.

Sofie was born in her home on Christmas Eve 1998. Three weeks later, at a routine doctor’s appointment, her mother, Barbara, was told that her daughter had Down’s syndrome. With this exhibition, Snezhana von Büdingen-Dyba wants to show the beauty and complexity of ‘the unusual’ and thereby contribute to deeper social acceptance and inclusiveness. The exhibition gives the viewer the opportunity to participate in ‘Sofie’s world’ through the lens of the artist. Snezhana keeps in touch with Sofie to this day and their collaboration continues.

Through her lens, photographer Snezhana von Büdingen-Dyba gives us a glimpse into Sofie’s everyday life and her close bond with her mother. “From the very first moment, Sofie seemed fascinating to me – her character, the way she interacted with the world around her, and the little idyll she lived in seemed to exude a certain dreamy, yearning magic. I started taking pictures of Sofie in 2017, when she was 18 years old and had just finished school. It was a period when Sofie was in her tender, yet beautiful and exciting teenage years, when she was growing into a woman, when all feelings were extremely strong and love seemed to be the most important thing in life,” explains the artist.

Snezhana von Büdingen-Dyba was born in 1983 in Perm and lives in Germany. As a photographer, her work focuses on social themes and portraiture. Her work has been published in various publications, including TIME, Polka, British Journal of Photography, Der Spiegel, 6MOIS.

The photographer has been a finalist for the Leica Oscar Barnack Award and the SONY World Photography Award, and has exhibited her work in museums and galleries around the world, including Fotografiska Museum Stockholm, Leica Gallery Frankfurt, National Portrait Gallery London, ClampArt Gallery NY, Somerset House London.