Kristin Schnell: Birds on Stage and Farewell
This week we are featuring projects seen at the Medium Photo Portfolio Reviews.
In first looking at Kristin Schnell‘s stunning ode to the natural world, told through color, form, and bird, it took me a minute to understand the process of creating art in collaboration with a living creature. Inspired by the beauty of stained glass windows she experienced as a child in church windows, she developed a sensitivity to the movement of the sun, the changing color casts, and ideas of chance and spirituality. Her work is, in fact, an altar of sorts, devoted to the beauty and fragility of the avian world, accompanied by colorful sets that she builds and paints herself. As she states, “Chance determines my life, just as chance determines my pictures. the photos were created in real time and not constructed at the computer.”
Today we feature two of her project, Birds on Stage and Farewell.
Birds on stage
Birds are often symbols of freedom but frequently live in captivity. There, the life behind bars has little in common with their innate freedom, they can only get a glimpse of the outside world.
In my pictures I present birds and their captivity as a symbol of the cage that I, and humans in general tend to put themself in, or are being put in by society, social media and upbringing.
Photographing birds allows me to evaluate my own life and to process the struggles I went through in order to liberate myself creatively. They represent a constricted life in a diverse and colourful world.
I offer my birds a stage to unfold and create the image through a split second of coincidence.
I as an artist take a step back and leave room for the freedom that I am seeking myself.
I build sets out of wood using paint and props.
My pictures are created in real time and are not constructed on the computer.
Kristin Schnell (1968) is a German, baltic sea-based photographer who creates artificial sceneries for her birds to perform on.
In her pictures, she presents birds, animals, and their captivity as a symbol of the cage that she, and humans in general, tend to put themselves in. The intention of the work is to show the complex and impactful relationship between humans and animals.
Schnell is an active member of the Künstlerbund Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Recent exhibitions include medium photo (size matters 2023), FotoNostrum Barcelona (Julia Margret Cameron Award 2023), the Center for photographic art (2022), FMoPA (2021), Gallery huit Arles (2021) and in summer 2022 she had her first solo exhibition at the Photo Triennale Hamburg.
Kristin Schnell has worked as a freelance photographer since 1995. She participated in the Lensculture Masterclass (2019/2020). Since then she has been nominated and received several awards such as: Aesthetica Art Price (longlisted 2022) IPA 3rd winner (animals/pets 2021), Life Framer winner (Animal Kingdom, 2020), PX3 Prix de la photographie Paris (Gold and Bronze, 2020). In 2021 she took part in the International Photography Competition at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (3rd place winner) and was a finalist of the Fresh 21 (Klompching Gallery, New York 2021).
Her work has been featured at the Stern Magazin, Brigitte Wir, Zeit Magazin, ProfiFoto,Geo Magazine,Lensculture and Humble Arts Foundation.
Follow Kristin Schnell on Instagram: @kristinschnell
The first freedom is also a farewell at the same time.
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