Vivian © Ulla Deventer

Butterflies are a Sign of a Good Thing

Ulla Deventer

2020 — Accra, Athens, Brussels, Paris

About this series

“It is my aim to break taboos and present powerful new visions of women and female sexuality.
Observing gender-related violence from an early age influenced my views of human relationships and my understanding of suppression and power. I can relate to feelings of shame and insecurity that arise when you feel “different” from others. Reading the body language of people around me was once a necessity in order to protect myself. This has turned me into a careful observer of those I encounter. Growing up close to one of the world’s most famous red-light districts in Hamburg, I admired the brazen confidence and apparent independence of sex workers. I hoped to get closer to them, to understand their perspectives, which seemed more liberated than my own. This fascination led me into this long-term collaborative project with female sex-workers and inspired me to explore forms of love and loss in a more nuanced and complex form. I started to ask questions about women, social norms and forms of control, dependency and power in contemporary relationships.” Ulla Deventer, 2020 

© Ulla Deventer
Victoria © Ulla Deventer
© Ulla Deventer
Ramona © Ulla Deventer
© Ulla Deventer
© Ulla Deventer
© Ulla Deventer
© Ulla Deventer

Photographer: Ulla Deventer
Nationality: German
Based in: Accra, Ghana

*1984 in Henstedt-Ulzburg, Germany
Since 2019 P.hD. candidate at the Kwame Nkrumah University Kumasi, GH
Since 2018 Research student at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten Antwerp, BE
2014 Master of Fine Arts/Photography at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten Antwerp, BE
2012 Diploma in Visual Communications at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg, DE
2007 Study abroad at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts, Lyon, F
2004 Assistant for the fashion photographer Iris Brosch, Paris, F

Awards and Nominations
2019 Nominated for the ING UNSEEN TALENT AWARD 2019
2018 Selected for the .tiff Talent 2018 by the Fotomuseum Antwerpen
2018 Selected for the “Ones to Watch 2018” by the British Journal of Photography
2018 Scholarship holder at Rudolf Augstein foundation
2018 Finalist of the Life Framer Award , judged by Alison Morley
2017 Finalist of the Lens Culture Emerging Talent Awards 2017
2017 Winner of the 2018 Organ Vida International Photography Festival Solo Exhibition within the PHM Women Photographers Grant
2017 Nominee at the 2017 Photogrvphers Grant
2017 Honorable mention at Life Framer Award, selected by par Katerina Stathopoulou – curator at MoMA, New York.
2017 Scholarship holder at VG Bildkunst
2014 „I‘ve Never Been Big Sick“ was nominated for the Horlait Dapsens Foundation Award
2013 2nd winner of the Opus Fotografiepreis

2019/11 UNSEEN AMSTERDAM ING Unseen Talent Award
2019/06 FUMU Antwerp, tiff talents, opening 28 June
2019/04 FESITVAL CIRCULATION(S), at Centquatre Paris until July 21st
2018/08 Galerie MELIKE BILIR, solo exhibition, Hamburg, DE
2018/09 Organ Vida International Photography Festival, solo Exhibition, Zagreb, HRV
2018/03 Klompching Gallery NYC LensCulture Emerging Talents Awards, NYC
2018/02 BIP Biennale de l’image possible, Luik, Belgium
2017/12 This Art Fair Amsterdam2017/11 Photo Vogue Festival Milan, IT
2017/03 PORTRAITS Hellerau Photography Award, Europäisches Zentrum der Künste, Dresden, DE
2017/05 Boutographies – Rencontres Photographiques de Montpellier, F
2016/11 ARTSCAPE, Louxembourg, House 17, LUX
2016/04 Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie, Centralstation Darmstadt, DE
2016/03 Galerie magazin, Therezin, CZE
2015/09 Encontros Da Imagem Photofestival, Braga, PT
2014/11 CBK Amsterdam, curated by Bob Konsten, Bougie Art Foundation, NL
2014/11 Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, Lange Zaal, BE
2014/08 Villanova Festival, Antwerp, BE
2014/03 Opus Fotografiepreis 2013, Städtische Galerie Neunkirchen, Neunkirchen, DE
2013/09 Opus Fotografiepreis 2013, Tuchfabrik Trier, Trier, DE
2013/07 Opus Fotografiepreis, Theodor-Zink-Museum, Kaiserslautern, DE
2013/05 2. winner of the Opus Fotografiepreis 2013, HBK Saarbrücken, Galerie der HBKsaar, DE
2012/12 Galerie LINDA, Hamburg, DE
2012/11 Benita-Quadflieg-Stiftung, Hamburg, DE
2012/06 „Romantik 2.0“, Magdeburg, DE
2010 “scheinbar sichtbar”, Kunsthaus Hamburg, DE
2009 “Exposition Art Contemporain Art Step”, Lyon, F
2007 “bird’s opening”, Klasse Jitka Hanzlová, Kunsthaus Hamburg, DE