Kevin Best’s Still Lifes – contemporary photographic versions of the classic Dutch still life paintings using authentic antique props such as 300-year-old bronze candlesticks, antique silverware, German jugs or “Kraak” porcelain, to decode their complex symbolism and reinterpret them for the modern viewer.
“The Dutch were all about making their paintings look real. My work takes the reality of photography and makes it look like a painting so viewers get the same sense of awe… For centuries artists have used the still life to hone their creative and technical skills. Still life photography is challenging and intellectually stimulating”.
Abelardo Morell’s series ‘Flowers for Lisa’ – a delirium of floral still life with all sorts of influences—painting, music, design, fashion, philosophy, started as a birthday gift for his wife instead of a bouquet of actual flowers.
“However, something in the making of that first photograph gave me a newly found spark to experiment in ways I had not done before.
I chose the subject of flowers because they are lovely things – often exchanged between lovers – and they are part of the long tradition of still life in art. Precisely because flowers are such a conventional subject, I felt a strong desire to describe them in new, inventive ways.
Abelardo Morell – Flowers for Lisa
I love the way Jan Brueghel, Edouard Manet, Georgia O’Keefe, Giorgio Morandi, Irving Penn and Joan Mitchell, reworked the look of common flowers to show unexpected versions of them. The subject of the photographs in my work may be flowers, but they are also pictures about perspective, love, jealousy, hate, geometry, sex, life, the passage of time and death. I love how in choosing to limit myself to one discrete subject I was able to open doors into a world where I felt inventive, improvisational and fresh.”
Maxine Helfman’s series ‘Summertime’ – portraits and still lifes “to capture the beauty, emotion and mystery of summer in the South. Drawing my inspiration from literary descriptives, the images are timeless and familiar. Despite a hard life of physical labor and poverty, it is the strength, dignity and physical beauty that I want to portray in my work” (Lenscratch)
These quiet images with painterly quality invite the viewer to linger longer in contemplation and then the fragile and ephemeral butterfly as a symbol of rebirth transfer into another place and time offering hope, transformation and resurrection.
Lola Montserrat’s series ‘Fràgils’ – capturing the aura of flowers old, wise, vivid in collodion portraits to transcend the viewer into the memory of a nature.
“Passage of time. Life and death. The eternal future and the inevitable transformation that allows us to live. Extracted from time brief moments of existence become eternal in these images and invites us to contemplate the beauty of the flowers and their secret that we can never possess.
Playing with abstraction and negative space, Simon Chaput creates a series of dynamic compositions with the striking combinations of geometrical forms of the stone observatory ‘Jantar Mantar’ in Jaipur. Through dramatic angles and close-ups, the artists revives human’s quest for unveiling celestial mysteries and the eternal longing for a cosmic connection with the universe.
Simon Chaput – Jantar Mantar
Built in the 18th century for the study of astronomy, there are five Jantar Mantars in India, all with an eccentric design, of which the largest is in Jaipur.
Jantar Mantar in Jaipur was constructed by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. It consists of 19 instruments including Vrihat Samrat Yantra, which is the Biggest Sun Clock in the World. Relying primarily on Indian astronomy, the purpose of the complex was to give reading of the trajectory of the planets and stars, predict eclipses, measure local time and other cosmic events. The monument is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
Simon Chaput – Jantar Mantar
The series is published in a book by Nazraeli Press with a short story by the renowned author Salman Rushdie, written specifically to accompany Chaput’s dramatically beautiful photographs.
Alexandra Hedison’s ‘The in Between’ – a series of abstract compositions captured from Parisian windows of closed stores, making the viewer to penetrate through a multitude of reflections in the depths between reality and imagination, between painting and photography.
These ‘found paintings’ in pictorial dimensions embrace the breathing and the rhythm of a particular city and culture, but playing a mirror game they also invite to feel the cross that exists in multiple spaces at once and reveal how everything is in constant transition. A multiplication that opens the senses into a new state of perception asking the question, “What is this place, this now, this present moment and who we are in it?”
Tom Jacobi’s series ‘Into the Light’ – breathtaking landscapes that unfold a timeless power of the white color on our visual and psychological perception as fundamental, magical and symbolic, to offer space for contemplation and encourage us to look to the future.
Tom Jacobi – Into the Light
The work presents Part Two of the trilogy Awakening started in 2014 with the project Grey Matter(s). Whilst the Part One illustrates, by means of a reduction to an almost colourless world, the way man emerged from the darkness, the current series focus is on the white, dazzling as a colour of light.
“White occupies a particular position in the spectrum of colours. White is, like black and grey, an achromatic colour. Ultimately, it is not a colour at all – or to put it differently: white is the sum of all colours, the sum of all wavelengths within the visible range. It thus arouses the same impression of colour as sunlight. There is almost no context in which white is seen as negative. This results not least from the fact that white is often regarded as the antithesis of its opposite, black. We experience white as the positive gaze into brightness, whereas black is seen as negative, like gazing into darkness. White is affirmation; black is negation. White has echoes of purity and spotlessness. It is the symbol of transparency and transcendence… White is associated with divine light and is used in practically all religions for the representation of the superordinate, the divine. Man needs white, the brightest of all colours, for survival, because it provides support in a world without stability.”
Tom Jacobi – Into the Light
It took the artist two years to complete this work. He travelled back and forth across the world, “searching once more for archaic landscapes which either dominate by virtue of their light or open up to the light in unique moments.”
The two parts of the trilogy provide opportunities for contemplation on the opposite ends of light – its presence and absence around us. The third and final part examines the state of ‘The Light Within’, to illustrate the artist’s skills of reducing to the essential and to conclude that the real light is within us.
Thierry Cohen‘s series ‘Darkened Cities’ – uniting time and space to make visible a long forgotten contact of the humankind with cosmos in seeking for celestial guidance.
Replacing the light polluted skies over the world’s major cities with the starry skies over the Mojave, the Sahara, or the Atacama Desert, at the precise latitude and angle of the relevant cityscape, the artist creates a single new powerful image with huge emotional effect. These are not fantasy skies but the real ones as should be seen due to the world’s rotation about its axis. However, behind the visual poetry, these fictional city portraits focus on their darkness only with the reflections from the blazing stars above to sense the delicate feeling of inevitable extinction.
Tracey Moffatts’ ‘Body Remembers’ – a series of ten large-scale photographs with cinematic aesthetics exploring fictional narrative about loss, longing, identity and estrangement, based upon artist’s memories, family history and myth.
Tracey Moffatt – Body Remembers
Moffett herself, dressed in an old-fashioned maid’s uniform, is the sole protagonist in the scenes. Her face is intentionally unseen, highlighting the mystery behind the woman and the house, implying a connection between them at one time.The story, centered on a single character, is a kind of homage to her mother and grandmother who worked as domestics.
“The maid returns to the house where she once worked, a place of memory and of where she felt a sense of security and perhaps a lost love. We see the interior of the house as it once was and again as a ruin… My Aboriginal great-grandmother worked on a cattle property in outback Queensland she was a cook. Then my mother also worked as a domestic… My work is often based on fact or personal family history but it never stays there.”
Inspired by the poem “Body, Remember’ by the Greek poet Cavafy, it follows the idea the poem renders about the memory written into our body that becomes an inalienable part of us.