Überwelt at Dianne Tanzer Gallery, Melbourne
My work embraces ideas of cultural thresholds, crossovers and transformations. The making of my work often involves extended journeys into foreign territory where my own cultural experience is put into question and where I need to draw on my artistic resilience to discover a path into this new place. The journeys might be in physical locations or places in the mind or a mixture of both. They provoke the need to address and evaluate relationships between the new context, my history and the journey itself. This work brings two worlds together, charging the images with a chance visual poetry that embodies elements of cultural and geological history and folklore.
Photographs of landscapes and gardens become the raw material of a body of work that makes reality look like fantasy. Using a doubling effect, essential elements hidden in the landscape are revealed, such as the drama of a lunar landscape, fairytale monsters in a snowy city, trees resembling strange anatomy and castles in the air.
The underworld is dark and hot, whereas the overworld is cool and bright. There is a special light there that allows you to see new things in familiar landscapes. It is like the Straits of Messina where the Fata Morgana, created by refracted light, throws images of impossible cities, magical forests and invading ships above the horizon. In this work the image meets its doppelganger as the world is reflected and inverted to give unusual perspectives.
Überwelt deals specifically with two opposing landscapes – the European winter landscape and the cold, high-altitude, equatorial landscape. This new body of work was elaborated during a six-month residency in Munich, Germany, although some of the images are inspired by a trip to the high Andean region in Colombia. In manipulating the photographs I am aiming to create a mood or an idea that tells something about the path I have taken through various landscapes. The works become a metaphor for my attempts to bring two distinct worlds together.
The works are made using digital photography. For the exhibition they are produced as large-scale pigmented digital inkjet prints.