Terri Weifenbach’s ‘Snake Eyes’ – walking us calmly among the gardens, roads and the valley near Lana, an idyllic town in Italy with beautiful, colourful, romantic, almost ethereal palette and composition.
“I think that photographers as a general rule edit from the world. They take what is in the image as the content. Painters have to construct and as a result the content isn’t always the imagery. You have experiences that take you far beyond what’s recorded in the image. I have stepped into a particular position by stating that beauty is more than simple entertainment. Beauty has depth. And that position is a mine field in photography. Snake Eyes is of a place that we have proposed as being beautiful and I’m offering this as a serious body of work.”
Terri Weifenbach – Snake Eyes
The series is included in a photo book of 500 copies, paired in an intriguing dialogue with her black and white husband’s work, John Gossage.
With a direct physical presence of energy drinks in the images, Stephen Gill’s focus in his series ‘Best Before End’ is on the danger upon our inner life due to the gradually growing addiction of energy drinks consumption.
Stephen Gill – Best Before End
“The colour negative films were part-processed and soaked in energy drink, which caused image shifts and disruptions and softened the film emulsion. This softening allowed for manual stretching, moving, tearing and distortion of the layers of film emulsion to take place, and further manual shifts were added with a soft brush while the emulsion was still pliable. All the drinks were sourced in East London, which is also where the images were made.”
Available as a 72-pages photo book published in 2014 by Nobody in association with Archive of Modern Conflict.
‘Yusurika’ means ‘buzzer midge’ – a tiny insect that looks like mosquito but is a non-biting. It tends to fly in large swarms and creates a mild buzzing sound, that how it got its name.
What inspiring might exist in this? Only if you have the vision of Japanese photographer Yoshinori Mizutani to see through his camera lens fairies instead. They radiate an almost palpable kinetic energy when reflected in the camera flash and transform the place into a sparkling, magical realm.
Yoshinori Mizutani – Yusurika
Having grown up in a small town surrounded by rich wildlife and nature Yoshinori Mizutani learned how to make conversations with the natural world. “Surrounded by mountains, with young leaves and flowers on the trees, fireflies around the creeks, red dragonflies flying over rice paddies…a silvery world when snow fell, a place with bountiful nature—that is where I grew up.” Even when he moved to Tokyo, nature continued to call him out to understand its feelings and expressions. “Perhaps, by facing nature, I was unconsciously catching sight of my original landscape from childhood… Or perhaps, it is only natural for us to seek nature.”
Elger Esser‘s series ‘Voyage En Egypte’ – “I wanted to give a viewer and myself the opportunity to stand in this landscape again and to get lost in it.”
‘For his series ‘Voyage En Egypte’, Elger Esser traveled along the Nile from Luxor to Aswan with an 8 x 10 land camera, photographing the banks of the river, traditional feluccas, dahabiyas, and fisherman. Taken from a great distance with the artist’s signature precision and formal grace, the photographs of Voyage en Egypte are calm, grandiose landscapes in addition to being provocative meditations on light, space and color. Large expanses of water and sky in dissipating pastel hues form the cornerstone of these compositions, while the land and civilization itself provide sharp but remote horizon lines which are dwarfed by the natural elements.’ (review by Bill Bush for Huffingtonpost)
Vasantha Yogananthan’s project ‘A Myth of Two Souls’ is a contemporary retelling of the ancient Indian epic poem ‘The Ramayana’, that takes viewers on a journey through fictional and historical stories retracing the route from north to south India of the legendary prince Rama and his adventures.
Yogananthan’s series draw inspiration from the imagery associated with this myth and its pervasiveness in everyday Indian life. “The idea is to carefully play on the illusion and the ambiguity of the photograph. I shoot local people who live in these ancient, historical places. I never ask them to wear props—but since the country’s traditions are so strong, it can be hard for viewers to understand whether the work was taken yesterday or 100 years ago.”
Vasantha Yogananthan – A Myth of Two Souls, book Early Times
‘A Myth of Two Souls’ will be published in seven photo books within 2016-2019, one per chapter of the tale. ‘Early Times’ is the 1st chapter. To date other two chapters are also available – the 2nd one ‘The Promise’ and the 3rd one ‘The Exile’. “Within each volume, though, everything will be different: the design, the typography, the materials used, the way the text and the images relate. I want to keep each chapter fresh and distinctive since the subjects are so different from one another.”
“My aim is to leave each person with their own possibilities of imagination when they flip through the pages of my book. I wanted to strike a balance between keeping the viewer engaged while leaving ample room for subjective interpretation. I was always intent on producing an object that could evoke something in the reader’s mind. This openness has its roots in the Ramayana itself. Unlike the Bible, there is no singular, definitive text of the poem. There are hundreds of Ramayanas that correspond to different regions, traditions, languages and more.”
The Ramayana is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature. First recorded by the Sanskrit poet Valmiki around 300 BC, ‘The Ramayana’ has many versions and has been constantly rewritten and reinterpreted through the ages, and continues to evolve today.
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.
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