Christopher Russell‘s ‘The Explorers’ – with an abstract approach to the genre of landscape, via scratching, drawings and painting, a series that transforms Carleton Watkins’ vision of the Columbia River Gorge into a luminous transcendent experience.
The title is inspired from the transformative role of technology and scientific knowledge upon people’s imaginaries and primitive fears, and especially the photography and the new way it offered to conceive the reality and the sense of wonder it evokes to the mind in a quest of answers to the constant questions what new it might hold.
Christopher Russell – The Explorers
“When I photograph in the Columbia Gorge, the same area that held Watkins attention 160 years prior, I fuck up the image before the light even hits the lens, resulting in images that are fuzzy, hazy, or just intellectually negotiable. I use that ambiguity as a starting point for my own imaginary vistas… And these are explorations, given the breadth of knowledge facing an artist in the 21st century, this is a way of asking what’s more.”
Samuel Zeller‘s series ‘Botanical’ – soft, blurry impressions of exotic plants seen through the translucent glass of greenhouses throughout Europe, with a bit of inspiration from Claude Monet, August Renoir and Gustave Caillebotte. By capturing a refracted reality, these images reveal the painterly beauty and a rare serenity of such hidden gardens found in the heart of each city.
“I’ve always enjoyed going to museums, and I developed an attraction for painting, specifically Impressionist ones. In my personal and mostly abstract work I aim to give something for the viewer to interpret without giving away the subject instantly. I’d like to inspire people to love art more, to visit museums, to admire painters, artists and most importantly to dream more. Photography for me isn’t just about capturing reality, it’s also about giving the viewer a bit of a recipe to help them see the world differently.” (Rucksack Magazine)
Jitske Schols’ series ‘Songs for soprano’, etude #1 – landscapes and portraits as an imaginary journey back to the 19th century devoted to the life of Anna Witsen and her tragic death.
Jitske Schols – Songs for soprano
Anna Witsen was a sister of the famous Dutch painter and photographer Willem Witsen and lived with their family in a beautiful estate in the country. For unknown reasons, the young woman put an end to her life in 1889, drowning in the pond of Ewijckshoeve.
The artist visited the site where the tragedy took place in searching for answers and “presumed that the basis for her self-chosen death may lie in the fact that she was not ‘seen’ by anyone.” (Galerie Caroline O’Breen)
However, because she also grew up at the same estate having such a great time there, new questions around the concept of duality emerged – how the same peaceful landscape could be a surrounding for lovely memory of her own happy childhood years and a place for such a terrible incident?
Mária Švarbová’s on-going series ‘The pool’ – in search of the symmetry between humans and space in enigmatic compositions with geometric beauty of minimalistic retro setting and cinematographic pastel quality, where the absence of contrasts removes narrative dimension.
The sceneries were captured in different old pools, built in the Socialist Era in various locations in Slovakia. These huge cold places with white tiles and figures of swimmers immobilized in time and mirroring upside down, suggest an idea of lost individuality in a sterile futuristic future. However, the vibrations of soft color palette and the harmonious reflections in the calm waters hint that dreams are not lost.
“I photographed a small pond located deep in the mountains of Gifu Prefecture, Japan. The place is magical. Bright blue waters, colourful fish and plants. While taking pictures I had Monet’s paintings in my head because the similarities are undeniable.”
Marie Cecile Thijs’ series ‘Food Portraits’ – culinary objects frozen in time and space as a way of giving them characters in dynamic, surreal and humorous still lifes inspired by the 17th century Dutch Old Masters’ paintings.
“My work is like a time machine. I like to play with structures from the past and bring them into the present. I work towards that dynamic moment, where everything falls together. When I reach that, when that moment arrives, that’s when I know the composition is complete.”
Torkil Gudnason’s ‘Electric Blossom’ – a series of intoxicating explosions of vibrant colors and dynamic compositions in capturing their kaleidoscopic fluorescent essence from the inside to celebrate nature’s endless permutations.
“I’ll glance out the window of my studio, and see a flower blooming in a most surprising place. Such a contrast – like magic. I think about how the flower got there and how it survives, how strong flowers are…“
By employing the artificial studio lighting techniques, he translates them into a new fantasy world.
Douglas Capron’s series ‘Hydrology’ – exploring “the concept of ‘Material Expressivity’ as advocated by Manuel DeLanda, which suggests a deliberate use of melody and rhythm in existing matter. This is a study of natural patterns, which occurs progressively as water transforms into ice during the prelude to winter. My intention was to express the ephemeral mystery of these impressions that were gradually morphing into solid ice on an urban park lake… The resulting formations are surprisingly dynamic, organically expressive and complex, and pose more questions than are revealed beyond an aesthetic perspective in our relationship with the most basic element that sustains us all.”
Tatiana Gulenkina – Things Merging and Falling Apart
Tatiana Gulenkina’s ‘Things Merging and Falling Apart’ – series of colourful abstract photograms in an attempt of keeping a moment of ephemeral state while observing a process of transformation of fragile organic objects, in a way of portraying the notion that images can only capture a part of what they represent.
“At some point, I realized that it’s more of a collaboration between me and my subjects since they became active participants in this process. Instead of imitating the illumination and depicting formal qualities, these images challenge the expectations and capture the light itself; they bring viewers’ attention to the performative nature of creative process and elaborate on chance effects and intuitive states of being…Essentially, even the sharpest, most beautifully composed glossy image fails to represent reality because it’s trying to hold on to something that’s impossible to grasp.”
Tatiana Gulenkina – Things Merging and Falling Apart
Mat Hennek‘s ‘Sounds of Spheres’ – ongoing project since 2003 in searching of secret links among different elements on earth as a part of celestial musical composition incorporated in the harmony of the cosmos, inspired by the Pythagorean concept of the music of the spheres.
Pythagoras proposed that the Sun, Moon and the planets (only the five planets known by that time – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn), all emit their own unique hum based on their orbital revolution, and that the quality of life on Earth reflects the tenor of celestial sounds which are physically imperceptible to the human ear.
“All living beings produce sounds, just like the planets in the universe: a symphony that we hear only if we become attentive, if we keep our ears open down by the wet grass or up near the clouds. Then these sounds resonate, reaching the cavities of the human heart, and everything falls into its rightful place.”