Dag Alveng’s series ‘I Love This Time of Year’ – multi-exposure photographs from New York streets interweaving time and space of metropolis like a quantum kaleidoscope with infinite variations of urban reality. Constructed in aesthetic symmetrical cross formed rotations, these photographs broaden the perception and ability to recognize the modern world and focus on the possibilities that acquired special meaning as an individual piece of reality.
Hendrik Kerstens’s life-time project of photographing his daughter ‘Paula’ as a reminiscent of the portraits from the Dutch Golden Age, in a way of expressing his paternal love and in a conceptual and humorous dialog between the daily life in the 17th and in 21st century.
Hendrik Kerstens – Paula
It’s all started in 1995 when Hendrik Kerstens, then at the age of forty, willing to devote himself to a more creative profession, left the business world and took up photography. His wife now had to support the family, whilst Kerstens stay home learning the craft and taking care for their child. For practicing to capture the fleeting moments of childhood, he started with documentary family snapshots, when suddenly he saw his muse from a different perspective.
“One day Paula came back from horseback riding. She took off her cap and I was struck by the image of her hair held together by a hair-net. It reminded me of the portraits by the Dutch masters and I portrayed her in that fashion. After that I started to do more portraits in which I refer to the paintings of that era. The thing that fascinates me in particular is the way a 17th century painting is seen as a surface which can be read as a description of everyday life as opposed to the paintings of the Italian renaissance, which usually tell a story. Northern European painting relies much more on craftsmanship and the perfect rendition of the subject. The use of light is instrumental in this.”
Olaf Otto Becker’s project ‘Reading the Landscape’ – juxtaposing the changes to landscape in the primary forests of Indonesia and Malaysia in three Habitat series – idyllic dreamlike places, ravaged, barren terrains and artificially created greenery. And all as a result of the paradox of the power and interests of the western world to destroy and preserve nature.
Olaf Otto Becker – Reading the Landscape – Habitat I
“Humans destroy primary forests, which have been growing for millions of years, within decades. Within the last thirty years almost ninety percent of the forests in Indonesia have been destroyed and replaced by monoculture. At the same time, humans create a version of nature according to their own imaginations in the megacities of the world, turning nature into a product… My pictures and videos are an attempt to report on what I’ve experienced, on what I’ve seen with my own eyes and what has, for that reason, deeply moved me… While researching the subject, it first seemed to me almost paradoxical that the so-called western world was behind both the destruction of the primary habitats and the attempts to protect them. I saw how both sides in the conflict were using impoverished and poorly-educated local populations for their own interests. For the most part, local people can only powerlessly watch as these dramatic changes take place.”
Olaf Otto Becker – Reading the Landscape – Habitat II
Catherine Nelson’s underwater project of 3 series – Origins (2014), Unstill Life (2015) and Submerged (2015) – a new magical world below the surface, created as interpretations of collected memories of her own experience about particular moments in nature.
Catherine Nelson – Submerged
While visiting a backyard pond in Ghent, Belgium, her attention was drawn to the secret universe beneath the water. “Every time I looked into it I saw something. There seemed to be so many compositional options.” And like a goddess she started carefully to construct her imaginary landscapes of aquatic botanicals intertwined like fantastic creatures turned upwards to the sky. These are hundreds of individual photographs digitally stitched in beautiful collages. “It’s kind of limitless. You can move things around until you’re happy. I find that really exciting.”
Paul Hart’s series ‘Truncated’ (2005 – 2008) – through individual portraits of trees depicting their characters and personalities, the artist captured the spirituality, the primeval and the mystery of an ageing pine forest plantation in Derbyshire, England, as an unaffected by the modern world place of inner peace and infinity.
Paul Hart – Truncated
“A lot of these pictures were taken towards the end of the day when the light was going. It is quite ethereal then. The twilight in the forest appeared to be glowing on the branches of these trees, but only the branches – everything else was quite dark… The tightly knitted images of trees – themselves almost becoming anthropomorphic forms – show an environment where nature has self-created shelter and protection from its own elemental chaos… When you are photographing you look at it closer than normally would and be aware of the character that was portrayed and with a bit of humour I gave them names.”
Ansley West Rivers’s series ‘Seven Rivers’ – “a depiction of the highlights, the beauty, degradation, triumph, solitude and the numerous unseen changes occurring on all rivers in the world, and the importance of watersheds as maps, for they tell the story of civilization past and present.”
Ansley West Rivers – Seven Rivers
Through investigating the current state of the landscape of each of seven rivers that across the United States — the Colorado, Missouri/Mississippi, Columbia, Rio Grande, Tuolumne, Altamaha, and the Hudson, the artist takes us on a journey to remind that rivers are the life sustaining veins of our earth.
“We stand at a precipice in the history of water. How we approach the health and use of our rivers now will determine the lifespan of fresh water. Rivers across the world are experiencing changes in water levels, temperature, wildlife and saltwater intrusion. The series depicts images that are simultaneously beautiful and haunting in an attempt to challenge the viewer’s perspectives on the landscapes that sustain us.”
The Kyoto terms for ‘geisha’ are ‘geiko’ for the fully trained artists and ‘maiko’ for those still in training. Geisha is the term used in other parts of Japan.
Robert van Koesveld – Geiko and Maiko of Kyoto
“Late one night in an empty cobblestoned street in Kyoto, a woman sheltering beneath a red umbrella glided past me. I saw in an instant something in her face – luminous eyes, an aloof expression – that gave her beauty a sense of timelessness and exquisite grace. What I experienced as presence. This moment took place on my first visit to the city that had been Japan’s capital for over a thousand years. And it was this image of an unknown woman in an empty street that impelled me to begin this book three years ago.”
Mara Sánchez-Renero’s series ‘iluikak’ (in the sky) – a work in progress in “an attempt to breach the conventions of an assumed identity and explore a new state of consciousness.
I am interested in finding places that allow me to create settings in which I can explore the instability of the human condition. In isolating men and women from their everyday contexts and instead portraying them within the space of their imaginary fabrication, the space of their mythical existence, we can witness the dissolution of constructed identity and thus confront what’s uncertain about human nature.”
Mara Sánchez-Renero – iluikak
“The Nahua people of the Sierra of Zongolica in Veracruz, Mexico, are an indigenous community primarily dedicated to agriculture and the practice of religious customs, in which ancestral traditions that keep them connected to nature remain an important part of their particular identity. My intention is to photograph the sierra and its inhabitants, using different light sources to create a point of clarity and focus within an uncertain environment. I work with light to trace and depict a certain symbology in a search for evocations of the human.”
Irene Kung’s series ‘Trees’ – a poetic invitation to explore the metaphysical side of nature in searching of the essence of being.
Irene Kung – Trees
Part of the project ‘The forest of the soul’, in this series the artist focused on trees enchanted by their symbolic meaning as a circle of life, time and re-birth, and undoubtedly fascinated by their shape and beauty. She leads us into a mysterious, magical and almost unreal forest inhabited by different trees as a silent guardian of all our feelings, emotions and dreams.
“In my way of working I am able to return the tree to what I have felt. This is the way I perceive my work: to strip away what is not essential in order to show a tree as it really is, as I feel it. This is intuition; it is the irrational. What is rational may deceive us. Feelings don’t.”
Luca Tombolini’s series ‘LS X’ – a contemplation of pastel primordial landscapes of mountains and deserts in search of the mind shift that goes beyond our limited lifetime.
Luca Tombolini – LS X
“The values of our civilization, that we all take for granted and into which we so deeply live, have little to say if confronted with the general principle of Life we’re born from. All knowledge and crafts we’ve put together so far have absolutely no answers about how and eventually why this living experience has generated, nor can say a thing about what the place we’re living into really is.”