Artist, photographer, and co-founder of ‘Women with Superpowers’ Tasya van Ree on female strength, collectivity and the power of introspection.
LA-based artist and photographer Tasya van Ree calls us to step into our own influence and create a shift in the mainstream. In the recent “Women with Superpowers” series, her candid portraiture invites subjects to embody their voice and invoke their power. Tuned into the urgent need to diversify projections of womanhood, she set out to create a platform that serves to lift women up, celebrating ‘the feminine as Artist, Activist, and Healer’. A handful of the incredible women who have stepped in front of her lens include; Jane Goodall, Colleen Heidemann, and Momo Suzuki. Driven by her unwavering belief in the potential of the collective, she asks us to rally together, to rebel, and to dare to live by our own rules.
Whilst awareness of her personal evolution is part of her craft, her work serves to inspire other women to hold a mirror up to themselves. As an artist who finds herself holed up for days in her studio, weaving new visions and cutting new canvases, she is an advocate of the virtues of introspection. Counting inner strength and self-love as her teachers, she softly reminds us of the incredible power we can draw from turning our gaze inwards. Between photoshoots, we speak to Tasya about the curious ways that life moves, the infinite power of the feminine and the lessons we can learn from self-reflection.
TBE: Do you consider yourself a rebel?
Tasya van Ree: At times, by society’s standards, yes. Only because I really try to exist in my own energetic field, my own center, my own bubble of internal reflection and conscious evolution. And sometimes, when I step out of that bubble to interact with my environment, who I am and what I stand for can be misconstrued as rebellious because it goes against certain versions of a normal way of everyday thinking. But times are changing, and so is society’s understanding of acceptance and awareness. Soon, the context of rebellion won’t exist because we will all be living in the state of universal harmony and love (wishful thinking).
Judgment and labelling are becoming obsolete and the evolution of the mind and heart are getting stronger and more advanced, more complex. Our focus is shifting to a more emotionally evolved space. No-one wants to live in an antiquated system, the past… we want to live in the future.
(Left – photography by Libby Gray)
TBE: How did your upbringing in Hawaii shape you?
T: My upbringing allowed me to embrace the sense of freedom. The freedom to exist in a way that is consistent to the complex system of the universe. Open and wide. Vast, powerful and graceful in its violent nature. Finding an influential sequence in its polarity. Freedom is the landscape of our wellbeing, our happiness, our own language. It has a sort of romanticism that can be characterized as infinite and ceremonial. I love existing in this frame of affection. It’s everything.
Tasya van Ree
At times my world is BLACK AND WHITE…and other times, COLOR…
TBE: Why is it important that you embrace the darkness as well as the light in life?
T: It is one of Nature’s universal laws, the law of reciprocity. We have been programmed through our cells to exist this way. We are comprised of cyclical energy, life works in cycles. The most obvious one would be the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. This can take form in many ways. In my most recent observation, it materialized in an orchid that I’ve owned for years. I purchased it when it was decorated with alluring alien-like flowers, then they disappeared when its season was complete. I neglected it for a while, then shifted my focus back to it after a good amount of time. I repotted it, watered it when it got thirsty, placed it in certain areas of the house to ensure it would get the proper amount of sun exposure, and finally, just recently, little buds are forming. I’m very excited, I’ve never had an orchid that I’ve gotten to be involved in this process with, which was also a direct reflection of the cycle of giving and receiving.
TBE: What are the lessons life has taught you?
T: Inner strength and self-love are the best teachers but, every personal and impersonal relationship that I have had in my life has taught me something. It has been a group effort along the way. Everything is a teacher. Every bit of information that we interact with at all levels teaches us something. The experience of understanding is an infinite prism.
Tasya van Ree
Strength looks like a woman.
‘My superpower is manifesting from love by embodying devotion and holding the highest vision despite all appearances to the contrary. Extreme faith. This is my recipe for living a miraculous life.’
‘Strong constitution and gift for communication.’
‘Extra-enthusiastic life liver.’
TBE: What does strength look like and, how has your understanding of it evolved over the years?
T: Strength looks like a woman. The aging process of being a woman is so beautiful. That alone has brought me a higher understanding of what strength is. All of the harmonies and treasures and insights that come along with it are so very enlightening. Revelations of hope, of desire, of sentiment, of existence, of happiness, of sadness, of love.
Strength is a culmination of a lot of factors; lineage, upbringing, environment and life experience. That which allows one to understand the circumstance or the life process we are living and express self-awareness, a connection to it and to the outside world.
Tasya van Ree
Find the quietude within and begin to really listen to the echoes that surround it. It’s all there.
TBE : What advice would you give to women who are struggling to stay strong?
T: To find the quietude within and begin to really listen to the echoes that surround it. It’s all there.
TBE : How do you personally make sure you are present?
T: I go inwards. I begin to separate myself from my surroundings and dive deep into my own solitude. I sit there for a while and focus in on who I am outside of everything that surrounds me. It brings me back to the beginning. It’s important to be centered, as an artist, as an individual, and as a human being.
Tasya van Ree is a multidisciplinary artist. Her artwork is infused with otherworldly elements of eros, alchemy, and the infinite mystery of the natural world. She has always been intrigued by the everyday wonders of life’s visual offerings, which is a testimony to how she uses her intuitive eye for form and composition. With her sense of expansive awareness, van Ree is able to transcend boundaries across all mediums to exist in her own radical embrace of expression. Follow her story @tasyavanree along with her recent projects ‘Women with Superpowers’ and ‘Intergalactic Girl’s Club’, a production company that aims to bring artists to the forefront of culture.
Banner image by Libby Gray, artworks by Tasya van Ree