“The sense of the divine is an experience rather than a concept, a revelation rather than an intellectual construct… I recognise every photo by Awoiska van der Molen, I have been to all those places. I know the joy of saplings, the passion of a shrub, the sudden horror of the ravine, the lustiness of a tree stump, the untold doom in the darkest reaches of the undergrowth. These are not photos of or after Nature, the photos are part of that same Nature, of an event enabled by Nature via her camera at that particular point in time and that particular exposure.” (Arjen Mulder)
“Automatic Earth refers to what I see as a “blue print” that exists within nature; a plan within each organism to automatically generate a particular form or pattern that is then, inevitably flawed. I approach these broken patterns within the landscape as allegories for human emotional experience. It is where the pattern breaks that we are told something: a draught, a trauma, an interaction, the slash of a chainsaw…. a crack in the earth. The flaws in these pre-destined forms become a record of time and of labor and they tell the story of the life that made them.”
Elaine Duigenan’s series ‘Blossfeldt’s Apprentice’ – hand-made recreations of Karl Blossfeldt’s iconic images of botanical specimens in an attempt to show human’s imperfection in imitating the original forms of nature. Yet in these limitations, there is a momentary state of alignment with its perfection in the reflection of the idea of creative process and giving a life to new objects.
Sebastian Schutyser’s series ‘Flowers of the Moon’ – capturing with black and white infrared photography the mystical aura of the Mountains of the Moon, unveiling the pristine beauty of these landscapes as a lost paradise.
“In the heart of Africa lies an icecapped massif with a mythical resonance: the Mountains of the Moon (Rwenzori Mountains). The ancient Greeks referred to them as the supposed sources of the river Nile. Ever since, explorers, scientists and adventurers have been fascinated by this last great mountain discovery of the world, on the border of present Uganda and the Congo. The afroalpine climate of the Rwenzori Mountains is determined by two geographical factors: they are very near to the equator, and high above sea level with peaks over 5000m. These particular conditons have provoked an extravagant vegetation. Most stunning are the giant heathers, senecios, and lobelias. What emerges is an image of a sublime landscape in resonance with the paintings of Douanier Rousseau.”
Brendan Pattengale’s work ‘Color of Love’ – landscapes with otherworldly aesthetic, in a new, transformative way pushing boundaries of interpretation, representation and colour perception.
“I am still learning and processing in my study of colour. Colour is a symbol. These pictures are about colour, about emotion, about living, about breathing, about all the things we go through as human beings… The best way of seeing my work is by thinking that I am a painter.”
Kevin Best’s Still Lifes – contemporary photographic versions of the classic Dutch still life paintings using authentic antique props such as 300-year-old bronze candlesticks, antique silverware, German jugs or “Kraak” porcelain, to decode their complex symbolism and reinterpret them for the modern viewer.
“The Dutch were all about making their paintings look real. My work takes the reality of photography and makes it look like a painting so viewers get the same sense of awe… For centuries artists have used the still life to hone their creative and technical skills. Still life photography is challenging and intellectually stimulating”.
Abelardo Morell’s series ‘Flowers for Lisa’ – a delirium of floral still life with all sorts of influences—painting, music, design, fashion, philosophy, started as a birthday gift for his wife instead of a bouquet of actual flowers.
“However, something in the making of that first photograph gave me a newly found spark to experiment in ways I had not done before.
I chose the subject of flowers because they are lovely things – often exchanged between lovers – and they are part of the long tradition of still life in art. Precisely because flowers are such a conventional subject, I felt a strong desire to describe them in new, inventive ways.
Abelardo Morell – Flowers for Lisa
I love the way Jan Brueghel, Edouard Manet, Georgia O’Keefe, Giorgio Morandi, Irving Penn and Joan Mitchell, reworked the look of common flowers to show unexpected versions of them. The subject of the photographs in my work may be flowers, but they are also pictures about perspective, love, jealousy, hate, geometry, sex, life, the passage of time and death. I love how in choosing to limit myself to one discrete subject I was able to open doors into a world where I felt inventive, improvisational and fresh.”
Maxine Helfman’s series ‘Summertime’ – portraits and still lifes “to capture the beauty, emotion and mystery of summer in the South. Drawing my inspiration from literary descriptives, the images are timeless and familiar. Despite a hard life of physical labor and poverty, it is the strength, dignity and physical beauty that I want to portray in my work” (Lenscratch)
These quiet images with painterly quality invite the viewer to linger longer in contemplation and then the fragile and ephemeral butterfly as a symbol of rebirth transfer into another place and time offering hope, transformation and resurrection.
Lola Montserrat’s series ‘Fràgils’ – capturing the aura of flowers old, wise, vivid in collodion portraits to transcend the viewer into the memory of a nature.
“Passage of time. Life and death. The eternal future and the inevitable transformation that allows us to live. Extracted from time brief moments of existence become eternal in these images and invites us to contemplate the beauty of the flowers and their secret that we can never possess.”
Playing with abstraction and negative space, Simon Chaput creates a series of dynamic compositions with the striking combinations of geometrical forms of the stone observatory ‘Jantar Mantar’ in Jaipur. Through dramatic angles and close-ups, the artists revives human’s quest for unveiling celestial mysteries and the eternal longing for a cosmic connection with the universe.
Simon Chaput – Jantar Mantar
Built in the 18th century for the study of astronomy, there are five Jantar Mantars in India, all with an eccentric design, of which the largest is in Jaipur.
Jantar Mantar in Jaipur was constructed by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. It consists of 19 instruments including Vrihat Samrat Yantra, which is the Biggest Sun Clock in the World. Relying primarily on Indian astronomy, the purpose of the complex was to give reading of the trajectory of the planets and stars, predict eclipses, measure local time and other cosmic events. The monument is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
Simon Chaput – Jantar Mantar
The series is published in a book by Nazraeli Press with a short story by the renowned author Salman Rushdie, written specifically to accompany Chaput’s dramatically beautiful photographs.