So I wanted to gain a further knowledge of photographers and artists who created pieces about nature and more specifically about body’s of work that explore walking within a contemporary art form. One of these artists is Anne Schwalbe, whose work is so versatile and delicate, truly representing nature’s life.
The first thing that appealed me to this body of work is the secretive way the book is packaged. Its so simple, but it makes you feel almost guilty like you’ve been doing something bad or secretive. The typography Schwalbe uses is a simple typewriter font, and the actual book is packaged in a brown paper envelope with rubber bands around it. And there’s just one image that is held on the front, making me feel like a detective in a crime scene, something special and something incredibly precious.
The paper used that the photographs are printed on, is nothing particually special, its thin and not of a high quality, and I think she purposely chose this to resemble the delicate way of the wild flowers, and the innocence of nature. Also the colours almost bleed and the prints are a lot darker because of this, but it does make the wild flowers pop out a lot more. Schwalbe’s work also makes me question whether or not I need to get closer to my subject or not, you can really see the details from flowers, and I wonder if you can see the things I try to capture whilst walking in the same detail.
I also like the huge amount of negative space Schwalbe uses. You would expect it to flood the images and over power them, but in actual fact it works with them and really makes you focus your eyes to the image and the image alone. I also like the fact there seems to be no specific narrative. The book is called “Wiese”, which means meadow, and that’s exactly what it is. Its purely just simple flowers, that would have gotten over looked, but now they are recorded. It almost reminds me of a fanzine for beautiful, wild flowers. It also shows me how you don’t need to have extravagant imagery, less is more!
Some of the reviews this piece of work have received are
“Poetic, rough, minimalistic”- Albane Lamoril
“Each photograph is somehow able to captivate the viewer, with a strong and eerie depth to the images, ghost like and compelling”- Bemo Jake
Pamela De Bri
After going to Ireland I was completely inspired by this project and I felt it completely connected with my own. This body is work is a true experience, and it brought to life how my project can be more than a photo book, it can be a series of things that guide you through a route. De Bri created this project based on the MGWR railway network, and she cycled the route.
Before hand she did copious amounts of research, of which included looking into the National Photographic Archive, which she used the images so she could get a clear idea of where to shoot from so you can see the comparison between the late 1800’s and the present day. She also shot abandon railway stations and ones that have been converted into living spaces. I found it really interesting with the mediums that she chose to use. For example the video, which was placed towards the end of the exhibition, showing the simple sunlight slowly drowning the deserted station, proving its beauty is still alive. She also took a series of portraits that she took, and I found that interesting, how people look and differ with each place she cycles too. Another thing that has inspired me is the cloth map that looked hand sewed. I think it brought back to home that this is a very personal and informal body of work and it was really interesting seeing the route she took.
The only criticism I have when I viewed this exhibition was the fact there was no explanation of what we were actually seeing. I started looking at her diary’s, which I loved the idea of as they were written in a scruffy pencil form with printed out photographs and the language frequently changed to Irish and English, but it was only till I received a leaflet towards the end, I was able to understand the project and then it all made sense. I feel like I perhaps need to explain my project and make it clear so my audience understand this is all about the mind and the walking process. This was definitely a project that was shown as an experience, and I truly did feel like I was going through this journey with her, so I need to take this on board and hopefully create the same feeling and approach within my own final piece.