London-based photographer FRANCESCA ALLEN has been described as one of Britain’s rising creatives time and again by numerous influential platforms and, throughout those years, has time and again risen to the challenge with each new project and accolade earned. Now, Francesca’s highly anticipated first book Aya is just days from launching and we, along with the rest of the creative circuit, could not be more thrilled.
Aya exquisitely documents a one-month period of time during which Francesca and her camera spend in the paradoxically tumultuous and tranquil city of Tokyo, Japan, with musician Aya Gloomy. Despite the language barrier, it promptly becomes clear to the viewer that sometimes, not speaking says a great deal more than all the words in the world.
The bond between Francesca and Aya is patently clear throughout the series; when asked what drew her to Aya, Francesca states, “It’s hard to pinpoint why you are drawn to someone, but for me it’s all about an initial connection. The first time I met Aya was in 2016 and we only spent a few hours together but they remain some of my favourite photos I’ve taken. It somehow made so much sense for me to return to photograph Aya for this project.”
In addition to the sublime images, it is near impossible not to observe a by-product of the photo series—a perceptible, thriving relationship between photographer and subject that builds with each page turn and, whilst Aya is the focal and titular subject, it is Francesca’s unique ability as photographer which translates their shared experience through the images, to the viewer.
Aya is published by Libraryman in an edition of 500 copies. Special edition of 25 copies, with signed original handprint. Available for pre-order here.
Francesca Allen: @francesca_allen_
Aya Gloomy: @aya_gloomy