Jamey Stillings’ series ‘The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar’ – a three-and-a-half year aerial exploration of transformative interactions between natural forms and human activity, questioning our perceptions of land and resource use, and our uncertain path toward a sustainable future.
The Ivanpah Solar is one of the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant built in the Mojave Desert of California and the artist caught in striking graphic black-and-white photographs all the stages before the construction works commenced in October 2010 until its finish in February 2014.
Jamey Stillings – The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar
The series is published in a photo book by Steidl and is a part of a larger long-term documentary work titled “Changing Perspectives,” focusing on the global state of renewable energy development.
“It is the “invisible world”, hidden behind the “visible” that I have been working to capture…
One day in early autumn in 2001, just as twilight was setting in, I had lost track of the mountain paths. I happened to wander into a shady forest, where I found myself suddenly seized with a strong desire to take photographs. The following day, I set out once again, carrying my camera with me this time, and searched for the same forest. This experience made me realize that I was not taking photographs of the forest out of my own will, but that the forest was inducing me to take its photographs.”
“From the zealous geometry of the garden at Versailles to the cloud-pruning of trees and shrubs in traditional Japanese gardens, these various forms of cultivation reveals a delicate equilibrium, collaboration, and occasionally a collision of culture and nature. Many formal gardens in the U.S. and their stylistic precedents in Europe and Asia exhibit strong design qualities including clipped shrubs, ordered paths and controlled views using natural materials to communicate a cultural message. While these traditions grew out of a particular cultural context, their styles have been embraced by people in vastly different times and places. This practice of designing, domesticating and improving upon nature reveals simultaneously our distance from and longing for the natural, depending on the cultural lens from which it is viewed”.
Jennifer Schlesinger‘s ‘Utopia’ – a series of constructed imaginary landscapes as the artist’s response to “the philosophical question of whether a perfect place can exist, bringing together life’s dualities into a perfect union of beauty.”
Jennifer Schlesinger – Utopia
The word ‘Utopia’ was first mentioned in Plato’s Socratic dialogue ‘Republic’ describing an idea of how citizens could go about creating the ideal state, designed so there are no problems. It was Sir Thomas More in the 16th century who went further using it for a fictional island possessing a seemingly perfect socio-politico-legal system, and thus creating the notion of ideal society under the same name in which everything and everyone works in perfect harmony.
However, over the years the actual definition of ‘Utopia’ has been confused due to the different meanings of the prefix – as ‘no place’ (from Greek: οὐ = not and τόπος = place, hence “no-place”, strictly describing any non-existent society) and as ‘good place’ (from Greek εὖ = good or well and τόπος = place, hence “good place”, strictly speaking about a positive utopia). The marriage of these two definitions assumes that the definition for Utopia is an idyllic place that does not exist.
Examining this definition for Utopia, the artist’s intention is “to create a physical landscape, which does exist, if only in the paper-imaged form”.
Ryuijie‘s series ‘Black & White Ice Forms’ – collection of photographs featuring flowers frozen in blocks of ice in exploring the Japanese principle of wabi-sabi – beauty in nature in all of its imperfections, the acceptance of transience and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.
“The ice is as important as the flowers it encases, providing an element of the unexpected and unpredictable.”
Mariana Cook’s series ‘Close at Hand’ – the powerful silent presence of every day through objects, forms, and light abstractions in black and white photographs made between the years 1999 and 2015. That period the artist needed some quiet and made a deal with herself to make at least one photograph a day of whatever moved her and printed it the same day.
“I’ve had bad insomnia most of my life, so I’ve learned to really appreciate the time between 3 am and 6 am. Over the past sixteen years I’ve spent the majority of my late nights and early mornings in Hotel Lobbies throughout Manhattan. Throughout those sleepless nights I was always taken by how that environment seemed to exist in a constant – no past, no present, no future state. When the guests retired I was left alone to experience the intimate nature of these places. This portfolio documents those long nights. All of the images were captured using 5″x7″ and 4″x5″ view cameras. I hand make the final prints as toned silver gelatin prints and platinum prints.”
Michael Massaia – No Past, No Present, No Future
The artist is the sole craftsman from the instant the negative is exposed to the moment the final print is made. To learn more about him, watch this short video.
Alicja Brodowicz’s series ‘Learning to Swim’ – “explores the mother and daughter relationship; it is about the physical and the emotional distance that increases as the child grows and gains independence. It is about the feeling of immense pride and also great pain. It is a story about “the challenges of feeling in between — youth and adulthood, the nest and the world, the comfortable water and the firm earth that we all must learn to walk on, someday.”
Toshio Enomoto’s series ‘Sakura’ – “It is my rule to use film in sakura photography. I’ve photographed sakura for nearly thirty years, at dawn or sunset, always in pursuit of that momentary tension between the darkness of the night sky and the bright flowers, but it’s a real challenge. The sakura show different faces every year, and sometimes I wonder how many more chances I’ll get to chase them. The coming of spring always makes me restless.”