“Our vision is mysterious and extraordinary in its capacity to insist that there is always something there… I am most interested in the fundamental rejection of the apparent by photographs, in the idea that pictures hold their meaning in abeyance, the way the unconscious— to a trained and curious mind—is clearly visible in our actions but otherwise elusive. In this sense, even the apparent accidental arrival at meaning in the pictures seems destined, as if I had been after these images without understanding them.”
“This intensive grouping is aimed at inspiring thoughts and feelings of conflict on many levels. The tension between light and dark, boldness and grace, accident and intention, are depicted in a literal reality. In a deeper sense, however, it is my aim to also reference a more universal theme of struggle, as political, social, and, religious conflict effects an ever-widening population on our planet.”
Bill Clark – Front Lines
“Abstract images communicate not so much through the eyes, but with a deeper part of our being. First the brain attempts to assemble the parts of the image and reference them to some piece of reality. Curiosity then takes its turn with, “What is it a picture of?” or “How was this picture taken?” And finally, after failing to find answers, a sense of wonder falls over the viewer as the brain relaxes, and imagination takes charge, reflecting on the emotions that have been stirred by the spontaneous visual eloquence of line, rhythm, and form.
The technique used draws from the other interpretative arts. While taking the photograph, the camera moves with my body in the gestures of dance. The images are similar to a performance, in that while the subject in front of the camera may be the same, there can never be two shots that are identical. There is a sense of poetry as the sweeping lines and forms suggest a metaphor for a range of emotions. And many photographs are similar to other two-dimensional arts, where light is used as the “medium” for detailed drawings, and complex paintings.”
Jeffrey Conley’s series ‘Winter’ – capturing in a meditative simplicity the magic of pure white of snow and the silent frozen beauty of winter.
Jeffrey Conley – Winter
“Having grown up in the northeastern United States, I can vividly remember the childhood feeling of waking up on a Winters’ morning and looking out the window at a magical, snow covered world. I was enthralled with the ethereal qualities of snow: how it defined and transformed objects, reflected light, and how it softened sound. Over the years as a photographer I have continued to be captivated and inspired by the simple, transcendent, yet austere winter landscape… These photographs are the result of my journeys and observations, and have provided an intense personal peace that I hope is felt by others.”
Helene Schmitz’s series ‘Kudzu Project’ – poetic expression of the eerie beauty in the fascinated phenomena of nature that are beyond our grasp. Capturing the magnificent ‘sculptures’ of Kudzu plant, one of the most invasive plant on earth, to question the constant endeavours of humanity to control the balance in nature and the ever-changeable character of the viewpoint on the reality – is it our friend or enemy now?
“I see photography as a way of dealing with time and transience – which is a fundamental theme in my images. The medium of photography also has an interesting connection to these concepts”
Helene Schmitz – Kudzu Project
The series was shot in the summer of 2012 in Georgia and Alabama where the Kudzu plant has already transformed vast areas into apocalyptic landscapes.
Kudzu plant is native to Eastern and Southeastern Asia, but in 1876 it was introduced to the US as a garden novelty in the World’s Fair Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. With its beautiful leaves the plant enchanted the hearts of the Americans and was used mainly for decorative purposes. It was not a threat until the 1930s and 1940s when was rebranded as a way for farmers to stop soil erosion in the South — in Alabama, in Georgia and in the Mississippi. As dust storms damaged the prairies, Congress declared war on soil erosion and enlisted kudzu as a primary weapon. Kudzu seedlings were grown in nurseries by the newly created Soil Conservation Service and the farmers were paid high wages to sow topsoil with the invasive vine. However it felt so comfortable in the warm wet climate that quickly spread and conquered the new environment (read the whole article about ‘The True Story of Kudzu, the Vine That Never Truly Ate the South’ in Smithsonian Magazine)
Kenro Izu’s series ‘Bhutan’ – black and white hand-printed platinum prints of portraits and landscapes shot between 2002-2007 reveal the beauty of a real place full with life, traditions and spiritual values as a fairy tale frozen in time and space.
Kenro Izu – Bhutan
“Traveling many years, I have not yet seen a place as peaceful as Bhutan, or a place affecting such peacefulness within myself. If there is a place indeed named Utopia, this place may come the closest to it… Seemingly, an existence of the precious culture in the edge of Himalayan itself is the fantasy of the 21st century, and I can’t help having a fear of its delicate fragility, which may easily dissolve into surrounding enormous clouds and fogs”
Beth Moon’s series ‘Portraits of Time’ – powerful portraits of the world’s most ancient trees as priceless living wonders and magnificent guardians of our planet to inspire for saving them from the danger of destruction.
Beth Moon – Portraits of Time
“Standing as the earth’s largest and oldest living monuments, I believe these symbolic trees will take on a greater significance, especially at a time when our focus is directed at finding better ways to live with the environment, celebrating the wonders of nature that have survived throughout the centuries. By feeling a larger sense of time, developing a relationship with the natural world, we carry that awareness with us as it becomes a part of who we are.”
“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.” Hermann Hesse
Pieter de Vos’s series ‘Mandalas of Sand’ – telling the history of Nicaragua through stories of patterns created by sand: the birthplace of volcanoes, the serpent and the tree of life, the origin of language, the arrival of the conquistadores, the Somoza dynasty…
Pieter de Vos – Mandalas of Sand
“While walking along a stretch of beach in Aposentillo, Nicaragua, I was struck by the unique images left behind by retreating waves. It occurred to me that the layers of light and dark volcanic particles convey deeper meanings. There is a dialogue between the land and the ocean: a visual communication transmitted by the perpetual movement of water and sand. In this case, the writing in sand reveals the origin of Nicaragua and its tumultuous past. The mandalas also reveal what might happen as traditional ways of life are disrupted by the arrival of tourism and the increased investment of foreign capital.”
Robert Voit‘s series ‘The Alphabet of New Plants’ – a beautiful way of presenting man’s eternal desire to conquer the nature – either by borrowing forms through imitation or to substitute it in the 21st-century.
Robert Voit – The Alphabet of New Plants
Inspired by the great work of Karl Blossfeld from 1928 “Urformen der Kunst“, the series resembles at first glance a photo album of gorgeous plants photographed in a neutral background. On closer look though it reveals that actually they are artificial. Plastic plants produced for mass consumption for decorative purposes.
The photographs have not been retouched or artificially manipulated and are collected in a photo book published by Hatje Cantz
Laura Letinsky’s series ‘Time’s Assignation’ – a collection of black and white still lifes Polaroid made between 1997 and 2007 to question the danger of “the act of looking back”.
Inspired by the story of Lot’s wife being turned into a pillar of salt just because she looked back “is this a lack of trust or a punishment for nostalgia? Punishing a person who expressed fondness for what she’d had, as flawed as it might have been? … Here I am, a human. Really, is there any way to not look back? Even if not consciously, our past directs us in the here-and-now, and into the future. So why the imperative to not look back, even if it means being calcified, dissolved into the elements?”
Laura Letinsky – Time’s Assignation
“My book, Time’s Assignation, is an important set of images for me, and it’s been interesting to return to that work… When the photograph was an analog process, it used light sensitive salts, and I love this material connection between Lot’s wife and the photograph.”
Alex Timmermans’s ‘Storytelling’ – using the 19th century collodion wet plate process to create a series of narrative about magic, mystery and imagination, told with a subtle humour and unexpected ends.
Alex Timmermans – Storytelling
“I always have been fascinated by photography. But with the introduction of the digital camera it all became too easy, too predictable …to me. So I forced myself to go back to the roots of real analog photography. Not just by making the photograph itself, but by controlling the entire photographic process. It may sound strange, but the amount of work it takes to make just a single picture returned the joy of photography to me.”
The photographs are collected in a photo book and to learn more about the artist and his workflow, watch this video.