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Photography (MA)

Lea Lerma

I graduated from ENSBA Lyon (France) with a BA in Fine Art in 2018 and join the RCA in 2019.

I use photography, found images, film stills, and I am fascinated by the montage. I am drawn to moments of the daily life that have a cinematic potential. 

My work reflects on resistance by slowing down, caring, focusing on the individual and its vulnerability, inventing alternatives. 

I based the approach of my forms on visual language, interpretation of the repetitive pattern instead of words.

Show Location: Battersea campus: Studio Building, 1st Floor Mezzanine

I accumulate huge amount of pictures, store them over a long period of time before engaging an editing process. I extend my collections beyond the gallery into spaces like publication and projections. 

My object are autonomous collections: they have no beginning, no end, no order. They don’t need the presence of the author, they don’t need words. I believe corpus of images are auto-sufficient, because some repetitive patterns always emerges from a mass and the viewer is able to notice and interpret them by themselves.

The main part of my photographic work consists to build discontinuous narratives sequences. I have spent a consequent amount of time trying to understand the space in between moving image and still image. I needed to be able to manipulate, in full consciousness the image in relationship to time. 

In editing, I give spaces for the viewer to have an active role in completing the montage. 

This is as well the reason why I developed a focus on making publications: the viewer has a unique relationship to the book. In thinking its design I am trying to understate the role of the cover, to give more importance to the content. Deconstructing their structure allows me to create ongoing objects, free order content.

Being involved over the years with the people I photograph is essential to me. This way, I am able to document effect of time over the years, but also to have a specific presence in my picture. It is crucial as well to establish an ethical practice: being in a constant dialogue on the making of the work with the people I picture.

The superstar project is an ongoing series of 200 pictures of date.

The images of the series are edited in a digital projected slide-show.

The slideshow allows me to play more on the in-between of the still and moving image.

I have spent two years following a group of friends on a daily basis. They took the decision to live together when the whole pandemic started. Living together means more than sharing a house. It is re-thinking every notions of propriety. Suddenly everything becomes communal: your bed, your clothes, your hair-clips, your books, your parfume, your tattoos, your intimacy space, your time, your deep thoughts and fears. 

I choose to show the intimate scenes, the in-between moments, to evoke the strategies they developed together to break: inventing their own relationship to time. Connecting with nature, animals and silence. They are sharing a very unique friendship.


Photography - Projection


1920 x 1080 - 10'15''

Thirteen moments have been selected from the Superstar Project Series to be deployed in the publication. The book is composed of a transparent pvc enveloppe (the cover) and thirteen booklets.

One moment is time-stretched in one booklet: each sequence of pictures is edited in the space of the booklet, with special attention given to the montage. The montage is completed in turning the pages.

Taking off the traditional binding of the book was not an aesthetic choice. This design allows the booklets to be in free order. A boundless space is given to the viewers for them to have freedom in their reading, their own order, their own narration. 

By being transparent, the main envelope that gathers the booklets allows the content to talk for itself, and deploys 26 different possibilities of a « front cover ».  

The first names of the personnes appearing in the pictures are printed on the pvc envelope. They are ironically mentioned « in order of appearance » as in the form of a movie credit.


Photography - Publication


235 x 294 x 40 mm

This book disposes a collection of scenes shot with a photo camera. A cinematic potential can be present in one image. Constructing sequences with still photographs is one way to apprehend the complexity of the mooving image. 

This displays allows spaces for you to have an active role in completing the montage. The content of the books is not linear. Its structure invites you to jump between pages, go back and forth, look at a few images and put it back to the shelf. 

The pictures have been taken between Summer 2018 and Spring 2021. 

They have been organised by Lea Lerma. 

The editorial has been guided by Elorah Connil. 


Photography - Publication


110 x 294 x 30 mm

The book gathers 80 intimate portraits taken over a few years.

Each image has a cinematic potential but also refers to the root of the portrait history: painting.

Because I photograph the same people over the years, you starts noticing the affect of time on them.

The camera get closer and closer to the subjects over the pages.


Photography - Publication


260 x 345 x 20 mm

This book is a tool. A starter for a research-based work.

“Everybody collects pictures in their phone,

This mix doesn’t cover much,

Each picture is a bridge towards a work done by someone else. This stack in the end just gathered many possibilities of things that could be interested to see.

The set-up is non hierarchic, no ordered. The viewer does his own association freely.

This ability of seeing what they see, thinking what they think, doing what they do lead them to emancipate themselves.

From the mess, an order?

Repetition highlights that something is happening.

The limit of what is called an artwork is not a subject.

The picture of the picture supports elements of context, mostly intimate. It tell us more about how we look at things in the past years. Moreover, memory works differently with clues that involves senses.

Somewhere in between, Stephen Bloomberg, Frido Troost, Post Document, Aby Warburg.” 

Pictures collected from 2019 to 2023

Reperes, printed in London in august 2023


Photography - Found images - Publication


184 x 222 x 60 mm

What could be the last item that remains in an empty bedroom? What do we keep in our teenager bedroom as we are growing up?

Posters are interesting objects. In between iconography, souvenir, dream projection, they give an idea of the personality of the owner of the room. 

Invited by Philomene Hoel to show a work in her empty flat turned into an exhibition space, 

I installed a poster set on the wall of the empty room, copying the bedroom of Pierrot, the main character in Michael Haneke's movie Hidden. All poster are found images, existing posters bought on eBay.

In this context the art work is ambiguous.

From time to time, the screenshot of the room in Hidden appears on a computer's screen in the exhibition room.

I question the role of iconography and images used in the cinema to build fictional character’s personality.

Part of the exhibition program flat deux: ´Come and go’ show Saturday 9th July - 157 winns avenue E175HB. Run by Philomène Hoël.


Found images - Installation

One moment has been selected and deployed on the surface of the wall.

One sequence is stretched on a vertical surface. Placed next to each other, the strips almost creates a contact sheet. 

Narration can be read vertically as well as horizontally. 


Photography - Print


300 x 50 cm (each strip)