In the same way that all living creatures are different, our home planet Earth has many characteristic qualities which make it individual and unique. These elements of the natural world we evolved alongside for millennia, such as stone, wood and moss coexist with concrete, ceramic and metal; the results of humanity’s eventual technological advancement. These many and often juxtaposed elements continuously surround us to form our past, present and future; They are the interwoven tapestry that makes our environment the diverse, complicated and tactile wonder that it is.
As an ever growing percentage of humanity enjoys international travel, collectively venturing further at an ever increasing frequency, in the minds of many, the Earth’s ‘vastness’ is shrinking. The growing social expectation for the traveller to continually venture further and more often, to ‘collect’ a list of destinations and experiences for their own sake, has taken focus away from appreciating the details of what is there to be observed.
Texture / Contexture uses this idea at its core. This new series draws together a 3-channel video installation and a collection of 36 inexorably detailed, site-specific landscapes that have not been sourced from any one geographical location. Gathering imagery from Australia, New Zealand, Micronesia, Japan, Continental Europe, the Nordic countries and into the Arctic Circle, Texture / Contexture seeks to bring a slowness to the viewer’s gaze and encourage an appreciation for the often overlooked, beautiful detail in our world.
It is while closely examining and defining the subject out of context that we see the blurring between natural and man-made, the questioning of macro or micro, and our influence of preservation or destruction. The series places natural objects alongside constructed elements from the past; showing countless years of proof of humanity’s influence in forming the world of our present day, be it for the prosperity of the planet, or for our own species’ consumptive advancement.
This elimination of contextual focus makes it possible for the viewer to appreciate the details for their own merits whilst simultaneously viewing the entire collection. As art historian and cultural theorist Aby Warburg often said, ‘God is in the detail’.
This project is proudly supported by Photoking, Emergent Design, National Association for the Visual Arts, Two by Day Print and Design and Supervillain Media.
Opening Wednesday 14th September | 6–8pm.
Exhibition continues until Sunday 25th September.
Gallery open Tuesday–Saturday 11am–6pm | Sunday 11am–4pm
Valentina Schulte is a Sydney based photographic and video artist looking for ways to challenge the ideas of the landscape through the abstraction and narrative qualities of these mediums. She attended the College of Fine Art, UNSW, graduating with First Class Honours in a Bachelor of Fine Art (Photomedia) in 2009.
Schulte’s work focuses around the physical, urban and natural landscapes we inhabit and how it affects our conscious experience. Previous work has centred around travel and the flaneur in order to try and understand why we seek new horizons and experiences. However, new work looks at how those experiences affect us physically and biologically, how we as a species have evolved to live within the many varied landscapes and how we have shaped these landscapes.
Running in parallel to this methodology is a series of work on the landscapes of our unconscious minds. These are very separate landscapes but are both equally important in Schulte’s work; sometimes these relate back to our place within our environment and other times they are images of the absurd where our mind and dreamscapes place havoc with our cognitive daily experiences.
Schulte’s work has been exhibited in galleries, institutions and artist run spaces in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra as well as internationally in solo and group shows in the USA, Norway, United Kingdom and Spain. Most recently, Schulte exhibited at the inaugural Sydney edition of The Other Art Fair for emerging artists and was a finalist in the 2016 CLIP Award for landscape photography in Perth.