The silent Michael Eastman‘s ‘Havana’ – a nostalgic trip to a faded glory, past grandeur and decaying prosperity.
‘Painterly in quality, these richly colored photographs are dramatically lit and exquisitely detailed. Though mostly devoid of people, they manage to capture contemporary Cuban life through suggestion: an empty chair, an ancient car, a decrepit hallway, a forgotten chandelier. The result is as eloquent as a love poem written to a city rich in history, culture, and feeling.’
In ‘Thirteen’, a series of 13 images, photographer Vee Speers explores the theme with the transformation from childhood to adolescence and the desire for independence.
The inspiration came from her personal experience with her youngest daughter during her thirteenth year and the result is a beautiful story of timeless portraits that symbolize the growing up from a child into a young woman.
“The place of bamboo in the minds of East Asian people goes far beyond our imagination. Because Bamboo grows tall and straight by emptying its body and creating voids within, so it has been praised as a representative of uprightness and emptiness. Especially, Korea, Japan and China all placed bamboo in the first rank of evergreens, even surpassing the pine tree, and gave bamboo the first place for its nobility of soul. Scholars believed that the scent of bamboo expresses a world of pure ideal, and thought they would enter a pure spiritual world when they went into a bamboo forest because of the scent of spirit represented by bamboo.” Jin Dongsun
From 1989 to 1994 Danish photographer Joakim Eskildsen travelled through Norway, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and the Faroe Islands in searching of those elements that define the mystic atmosphere of the land and its relationship with those who inhabit it.
“I think that I managed to capture here the meaning of the Nordic Signs, something that is at the same time wild yet livable, and profoundly shaped by the climate, the wind, and destiny.”
Joakim Eskildsen – Nordic Signs
The photographs were self-published in a book ‘Nordic Signs’ in 1995, but now it is out of print and sought after.
Tessa Traeger’s series ‘The calligraphy of dance’ – combining arcane calligraphy with family portraits from the Boughton House in Northamptonshire to express aspects of a music collection in visual terms.
In 2011 renowned British photographer Tessa Traeger was appointed to give visual expression to a rare collection of many little known works by English and French composers, discovered recently at Boughton by musicologist Paull Boucher.
At first she looked through the exquisite books and manuscripts but nothing seemed to inspire her. Then she started to study the family portraits in the House and there she found her interest.
Hands and feet are an essential part of music making and by taking away the face from the paintings, which is usually the most compelling element, the details become much more vivid. Next she photographed tiny dance symbols in extreme close up and reversed them so that they were white on black, as are most of the backgrounds of the paintings. Finally she combined all these appropriations, using the dance notation very freely and even playfully.
Tessa Traeger – The calligraphy of dance
“My idea was to try to show the symbiotic nature of the French and English influences in the House. I tried to combine the French love of dance and fashion, as seen in such details as the red high heeled shoes for the men… an innovation of Louis XIV … with the existing English tradition.”
Dressed with their mothers’ and grandmothers’ ornamented clothing, they reveal legacy, inheritance. The lineage is continuous. Resilient is a force drawing strength from the Earth.
Joana Choumali – Resilients
RESILIENTS (by Joana Choumali)
O Abyssinian Woman, O Black Woman
Her skin of shades that a sun-zenith shimmers
With incandescent kisses is the flame
Of her negritude revealed with glows…
Her skin crepuscle gleams
Her skin, of honey-dew nights,
Studded with eloquent tones
O Cinnabar Amaranth
O Abyssinian Helianthus
O Ethiopic Woman, O Black Woman,
Her lips Mangoustan, Fruits of Miracle,
Tell the fierce crimson of her mystery
And the fire of the souls incarnated in her flesh
In her flesh draped with richly coloured cloths
With the richly coloured cloths of her lost memories
Of her lost memories that she needs to be woven
O Blazing Flower-Chili
O Ethiopian Woman-Curcuma
O African Woman, O Black Woman
Dressed in the sets of the foremother, of the mother
Is inhabited with spirits aged of centenaries
Her face-halo, then, of Ivorian Aphrodite
Gives her appearances of a Uranian statue
An angel-sphinx, a venus-pity
Who plunges her eyes of Oracle into eternity
Bravery. As a Nubian Pythia, she is transfigured
Of the City Spirit exorcised, at last she is rooted…
O Mambo, O Prophetess
O Slender Massai, O Callipygian Hottentot
O Ebony Korê in her matrilineal ornaments
A sculptural bronze, a chiselled jewel
O Queen of Humility
O Emperess of Posterity
Isabelle Chapuis project ‘Givré’ – exploring the different meanings of the word “frost” and all the shades of white that the ice can reveal. Needles, feathers, scales, fans… Woven veil of strange crystals… we only read on the surface of the frost but through these portraits, she shows a “frosted” woman in every sense of the word.
The series were created a few years ago for the French magazine Paulette n° 3.
Isabelle Chapuis – Givré
Watch this short video to learn more about the artist.
‘Between Blossoms is inspired by my dreams of the unknown and by the mysteries that fascinate me. And I find these fantasies hinted at the reality that surrounds me; a touch of melodrama here, a hint of seduction there, that enhance the everyday with an elusive enchanting beauty. My choice of these subjects reflects my passion for the unfamiliar and the fantastical, balanced with the preference for the natural and an optimistic perspective’
In this series of Sharon Core again the subject are classical still life paintings but this time as the name suggests ‘1606-1907‘ she has not focused on a specific artist or a time period, but explored three centuries of flower painting.
“It is intriguing for me to do this because the genre of flower painting is really dead now.”