Pavlina Ecclesiarhou’s series of hand painted monochromatic photographs of animals ‘Epitaphs’ – stories between the lines about our collective responsibility as humans.
Inspired by the dioramas in Natural History museums and exploring the theme of what is reality and its subjective effect on a personal memory, the artist opens a dialogue about timelessness of nature and our share in it, and whose epitaph we actually discuss …
Pavlina Ecclesiarhou – Epitaphs
“I invite the viewer to stop, experience a moment of uncertainty, perceiving it as a photograph, or a painting, questioning perception and consciousness, and in doing this, re-considering the relationship of illusion to reality. I also invite the viewer to contemplate the silent stories of these animals and consider why they matter to us… An epitaph is the writing on a tombstone. It speaks of mourning. My photographs are both an ode to nature’s grandeur and a lament about our waning connection to it. One is left with both a sense of awe as well as grief, that a harmonious coexistence might be an illusion. Yet, the overriding feeling is that of the urgent responsibility we have to halt the disappearance of animal species and their worlds because they do matter.”
Angelo Musco’s work ‘Sanctuary’ – a man-made colossal architecture inspired by the myth of the Tower of Babel as a metaphor of mankind’s separation but through the totally opposite vision – as a mystical kingdom, a holy place, built for connection to join people together physically and conceptually.
“The word sanctuary refers to a safe or sacred place or the concept of containment and keeping something in. For this image, each brick, arch, ramp and bridge is made up entirely by human nudes and then the buildings are populated by hundreds of people… The residents are protecting one another, reacting to what they see and reflecting their concerns and emotions back on the audience. “
Angelo Musco – Sanctuary
These masses of nudes constructions were created by many volunteers intentionally recruited from multicultural groups in different cultures. Photo shoots were organized in New York City, Buenos Aires, London, Berlin and Naples, to gather the materials for this mammoth metropolis and integrate the story of each of them into the multiple layers of the piece.
“As I began creating my own kingdom of towers, I wanted a diverse group of models who spoke different languages and were from different cultures to come together and symbolically help me build a community of peace and harmony. Diversity seems to be under attack, especially now, so I wanted the walls to be for protection, not for separation.”
The work took over four years to complete, the artist’s longest production to date.
Watch this video about the full process and final result of the Sanctuary project.
Sabine Pigalle’s series ‘Timequakes’ – our cultural heritage and collective memory in a clash with the sedimentation of the time and the chaos of material destruction with temporal collisions.
Sabine Pigalle – Timequakes
The series is a reflection of the artist’s experience during the Japanese earthquake in March 2011, created with her distinctive style of reinterpretation the myths that navigates between reality and fiction.
In this series, the artist recomposed photographs she had taken by mixing human figures after timeless portraits of the 15th-16th century painters (Leonardo da Vinci, Hans Holbein, Jan van Eyck, Giovanni Bellini, Piero della Francesca) with luminous background of shaking Tokyo lights as contemporary landscapes. These hybrid images are as a bridge and juxtaposition between painting and photography, old and contemporary art, figuration and abstraction.
Karen Miranda-Rivadeneira’s project ‘In the Mouth of the Mountain Jaguar Everybody is a Dancing Hummingbird’- portraying communities in the Andean mountains of Ecuador and their way of conceiving the world and connection with the spirits of nature. These communities are different in their cultural diversity – traditions, customs, rituals, – but they all feel the same energy of the land they live called by their predecessors “the mouth of the mountain jaguar”. It is still a place where you can hear stories the Time tells through symbolic language or cane flute about the cosmic particles in our blood and the doors to the infinite worlds. The artist caught that vibration and carefully collect a few of those stories in multilayered images to reveal the life through the ancient wisdom.
“The spirit of the mountains reminded me not to take photographs, the instances I capture presented themselves, and my task is to ask permission to borrow them.”
In the Mouth of the Mountain Jaguar Everybody is a Dancing Hummingbird
Among the series there are six collaborative works with a local farmer and painter Julio Toaquiza. He embellished Miranda-Rivadeneira’s landscapes with painted in traditional pastoral style birds, golden owls, figures, alpacas, giving them a sense of mythical vitality and transformation.
Karen Miranda-Rivadeneira – In the Mouth of the Mountain Jaguar Everybody is a Dancing Hummingbird
Michael Schnabel’s sophisticated landscapes with quiet mountains, almost unrealistic and abstract, in his series ‘Stille Berge’ and ‘Weisses Land Skizzen’ – capturing the majestic silence of the Alps through mastering the lightest and the darkest verges of tranquility.
Unlikely the typical romantic Alpine Idyll, these panoramas of gigantic bodies can be sensed by contours, lines and shapes blended in such a harmonious way that you can feel the mountain more than you can see it. They are like graphic compositions of the infinite calmness and grandeur, drawn with the silk of the day and the velvet of the night.
Michael Schnabel – Stille Berge
“The night and its silence gives the mountains a sublimity, feeling of raw creation and aloofness that I strived to capture in my work. Exposure times were about an hour; a sharp contrast to the city images which required only a few minutes. Focusing and even framing the image through the ground glass was another issue, as there was precious little to see under the low light conditions… Sometimes it was so dark, that I oriented myself only with the compass… Even at night there are colors in nature; they are important to me, even if they are very subtle.”
Michael Schnabel – Weisses Land Skizzen
“In these raw virgin landscapes I found tranquility, not only at night, but also during the day. This allowed me to work during the day. These locations have a clarity and depth that one can feel. This body of work is a subjective image of these awe inspiring natural spaces where I am – once again – experimenting with the boundaries of photography as they relate to paintings or works on paper which is best noticeable in the original.”
Madame Yevonde’s most famous series ‘The Goddesses’ – sensuality and symbolism in the pictures of aristocratic ladies in 1935, transformed into beguiling mythical characters, still having a distinctly ‘modern’ feel.
Madame Yevonde – Goddesses
The British photographer of portraits and still-life from the early 20th century, Madame Yevonde (1893 – 1975), was a pioneer of the colour photography using the complicated and costly but unusually sophisticated Vivex process.
The VIVEX process was a subtractive process, invented by the research chemist Dr. Douglas Arthur Spencer (1901 – 1979) and produced by the British company Colour Photography Ltd of Willesden. It employed three negative plates – cyan, magenta and yellow that were exposed and processed separately. After processing, the three negatives were printed on top of one another by hand to obtain the final print. This fact gave Madame Yevonde the freedom to experiment with different forms of colour manipulation, prior to the digital age.
The company was in business from 1928 until the start of World War II in 1939 when closed down during the war and never to re-open. Within these years Madame Yevonde worked closely with the inventor and the laboratory technicians to refine the process and extend its already highly sophisticated capabilities.
Watch this short video to learn more about the series and visit the site to read more about the Vivex process method used by Madame Yevonde.
Using various camera-less methods and long exposures, the artist creates powerful imagery of abstract luminous works to record the cycle of time and experiment with the power to light.
Garry Fabian Miller – photograms
“My interest in light and time is the accumulation of days… I suppose I am using the circle and the square as a place you can inhabit. I think I see the circle more as nature and the square more as thought… When two colours meet they create a third colour and also a kind of floating transitory space. And that kind of edge is a place of disappearing or merging.”
Miguel Ángel García’s series ‘In-dependencias’ – large-scale panoramic photographs to question the concept of the Independence by highlighting the merging levels of ‘individualism, national identity, and the larger membership in a political union of many nations and cultures’.
Miguel Ángel García – In-dependencias
The series, produced 2009-2012, comprises of images of the European Union capitals ‘bleach’ in white as unified landscapes with red marks of repeating infrastructural details like chimneys, satellites, skylights, etc., to oppose the basic concept of the house as a sphere of privacy in face of a common unified dynamic community.
Personal identity against national/union identity – illusions, conflicts or question of awareness?
“Gazing at night skies and overwhelmed by millions of stars not unlike the specks of dust on my scanner bed I found fresh wonder and the obvious origin of the word we commonly use to refer to space.
Through study of the dissolution of matter, and in experiencing our insignificance I found reassurance. We are no more than fleeting passages of time, temporary layers that shift, change, combine, universally we swarm and are gone.
These are our moments…here and gone… Nothing lasts very long in the grand scheme of things, dust rises and light falls – the continuation of our existence remains inconsequential to the universe and our demise will signal the natural world as the likely benefactor. Despite having thoughts centred on the apocalyptical, there came visions of beauty and rebirth.”
Alexander James’s on-going series ‘Vanitas’ – a new vision of the 17th century Dutch Masters works about the theme of transiency.
Using the standard symbolic motifs of the concept Memento Mori like skulls, butterflies, food, flowers, animals, but through the subtle distortions of the light and the movement of water, the artist composes elegantly painterly images where his ‘vanitas’ float in the space fragile and almost alive. His interpretation emphasizes on the temporary nature of our existence but as a reflection of the life.
“But then you put them in the water and … suddenly they look so tender – and really alive.”