Interested in shifting boundaries within the photographic medium, Fiona Struengmann uses a self-made camera to translate her world into forms, lights, and shadows. The series ‘Needleview’ is an inventory of poetic impressions of her surroundings.
‘Needleview’ is a return to the technical origins of photography. An experiment with an ancient image-forming device that reproduces a scene just as the eye sees it: the pinhole. In this series, German photographer Fiona Struengmann worked with a self-made camera –her personal version of the Camera Obscura– to capture life and nature around her: “Instead of a camera lens, I created my own aperture, which only lets light into the camera with a tiny (needle-size) pinhole. Through the regular depth of field, the perception of near and far becomes a blurry impression, which lets you see differently and allows an internal contemplation.”
The pinhole technique is pretty simple: light passes through the hole and an image is formed in the camera. Yet the process and the results are much more complex. In contrast to conventional photography, the wonder of the unknown replaces the instantaneous fix of an auto-focus. Open to manipulation, distortions, and movement, in pinhole photography the error and the accidental are sometimes the decisive factors for creating a great picture. Much aware of that, Fiona cleverly uses her self-build device to trigger a game of proximity and distance, blurriness and sharp focus, light and dark.
Fiona finds her subjects traveling the world; “Needleview is a series that documents my natural surrounding; a dive into a personal state of being”, she tells us. And like little fragile fragments of life, the ephemeral moments she captures with her camera seem familiar to most of us. But then her poetic gaze turns them into nostalgic, timeless, meditative pictures. The soft, dreamlike quality of her photographs is an invitation to escape here and now and get lost in a world of introspection, contemplation, and ethereal impressions.
Fiona Struengmann (b.1986, Germany) is a versatile artist with a restrained design aesthetic that is best represented in her photographic works and drawings on paper. She completed a BFA in photography and design at Parsons School of Design in New York, where she subsequently spent five years working as a designer and creative director in various of fields including fashion and film, before returning to Munich to set up a creative studio. Fiona recently exhibited at a group show in Kunstverein Munich (2015), CameraWorks, Berlin (2015) as well as PHOTOART LALAMOEBIUS, Berlin (2016). Find out more about her work here.
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