Elma Gradascevic – Traveller, Artist, Photographer, Silver Fox
Here at Travel Play Live, we are privileged to meet so many amazing women from across the country and hear countless stories of passion, impediments to progress and the overcoming of those barriers. Every now and then, we come across one that embodies the dynamic facets of the adventurous and creative heart we stand for. Elma’s story and photography did just that. It has been a pleasure to unravel this story and share it with you here.
Prior to starting her part time photography career five years ago, Elma worked in an office in the Human Resource sector for most of her working career. With the prospect of turning fifty, she was looking at ways to reinvent herself and pursue new opportunities, as she no longer found total satisfaction making a living working behind a desk. In her early forties Elma had back surgery and after two years of rehabilitation was fully recovered and able to engage in most of the activities she had participated in, in the past. As she was getting back to her life, she was hit by a motor vehicle whilst riding her motorcycle, breaking her collarbone and suffering extensive injuries. Her recovery began again. Elma went through a difficult period as this time, where she struggled to find the motivation for healing; but like her role models Frida Kahlo and Peggy Guggenheim, she didn't give up. Art, travel and new opportunities made a way for a fresh new discovery of passion and adventure.
“My passions include art, photography, travel, riding my motorcycle and fashion. I live in Chelsea, Victoria, a bayside suburb and my home is a few doors from the beach. I take every opportunity to be outdoors, near the water and in nature. I am always looking at unique ways of combining my passions.”
Unexpectedly, this year Elma received a call from Silverfox Management - a modeling agency, who have just signed her as a classic, mature age model, something she was totally unfamiliar with but was willing to give it a try. “I am open to all kinds of new adventures”. And indeed she is.
Two years ago she swam with whales at the Great Barrier Reef- a rare experience.
She rode her motorcycle around Tasmania with just a backpack and camera.
Last year she camped in the Alpine National Park, reaching places only possible by four wheel drive, camping under the stars in a swag and trekked around the mountains.
Most recently Elma traveled to Cuba and Mexico.
“We flew to Cuba to explore the island before the country changes too quickly following the lifting of the embargo. We wanted to experience a unique place where time has stopped - not much has changed since the revolution. On our way home we stopped in Mexico City for a few days to experience the Day of the Dead celebrations and explore the city. I always make a point of visiting the museums or galleries, as it gives me a unique insight into the country and its history. My main goal in Mexico was to visit the Frida Kahlo Museum. Like Peggy Guggenheim, Frida Kahlo too, is my role model and the two act as inspiration for me. They are both very strong female characters who are both adventurous and successful in their own right, despite their personal tragedies and pain.
By visiting these places, I explore the profound connection between creativity and place which provides me with further inspiration to live a creative life and create my personal space at home.”
“If someone asked me what has been my best investment, my response would be - travel and art. These two things enrich my life in many ways. Each place I visit brings a new experience, a profound awareness of a new culture or place.”
Clenfuegos Cuba - A new dawn…a new era
Cuba - I am glad I got to visit and witness Cuba before the change that is to follow and to witness both an old and new era. Most people I met wish to move forward towards transparent freedom without losing their independence and uniqueness ..they also acknowledge both positives and failures but are looking forward .Fidel's death had many reactions....rejoicing or mourning...a controversial leader..like the shadow and light in the photo. Symbolic of the costs of a revolution..the gains and losses..wishing Cubans peace and love during indecisive times. With respect
Museo Frida Kahlo - Her Blue House she shared with Diego is full of art and love. Very inspiring
Mexico City – On the streets of Mexico
Old Havana - Music and dance to be heard and seen everywhere in the streets of Havana
Venta del Quijote: in the old times there were not many places to stop for a rest between Madrid and Andalucia. This is one such place, a restored inn decorated in a rustic style with white walls and blue wood finish. A special restaurant serving traditional dishes in the heart of LaMancha .
Self Portrait on a rooftop in Mexico, always scouting for great vantage points for photography and enjoying the city views.