Eastside Culture Crawl is an annual 4-day art, design and craft festival held in East Vancouver. This year there are about 350 artists exhibiting at the event. I researched the list looking for photographers and came up with a few that I decided were worth investigating. The Crawl is an interesting event as the artists open up their studios to the public, but many of the artists actually live in their studios so you literally walk through their living spaces to get to the art work.
Eydís Einarsdóttir was the one photographer whose work I was most intrigued to see. She is from Iceland and lives in Vancouver. She was in attendance and it was nice to hear some of her back stories about her photographs. I found her use of light really amazing, almost like poetry. One of my favourite images that I saw was a sunset in Iceland. She favours making images of big skies and extremely small horizons. In some of her photos, one comes across the horizon only by chance – it is almost as if it is there as afterthought, but in a good way – the skies have such amazing detail that they tell their own stories. But by and large her landscapes are quite minimalist, which really works well. There is one image that is quite similar to Andrea Gursky’s The Rhine II image in structure, having the wide, open space, the centred horizon line and the leading in layers. I’m not normally a fan of abstract work, but I do like her abstract landscapes. One can still tell what the subject matter is and she has deployed various methods to create the abstract like defocussing the image, or performing a slow pan across the width of the image which really look quite lovely when viewed in a large print.
I like the way she creates these layers or strata of depth in her photographs which lead the eye in deeper and deeper into the image. Whether in colour or black and white the beauty of the landscape shines through, the main subject always being that of the amazing light.
Her series on Icelandic waters is a perfect colour study on analgous colours – the blue skies setting off the turquoise of the lakes and ocean. She has done some beautiful long exposures rendering the turquoise water smooth as glass and the clouds’ movement radiating out in different directions. She uses simple elements of design such as points, diagonals and leading lines in her photographs to convey movement and stability.
She has an interesting series on her website called Paper Play, where she was inspired by the latest summer fashion colours and created paper shapes to photograph in a very fun way. I wish I had come across this series while I was busy with the colour assignment. Still, this series serves an interesting example of light, shadow and form. Her black and white series on Junk Food is also all about lighting, showing textures of potato crisps, toasted marshmallows, dried noodles, corn dogs and doughnuts. I particularly like the ones of the deep fried potato crisps, where all the bubbles are etched into 3D by the light.
Eydís is also a commercial photographer, working a range of subjects from still life, fashion, beauty, food and drink to name but a few. I shall definitely be going back to her website to study her lighting techniques in more depth.
Einarsdóttir, Eydís [online]. Studio 80s. Available from: http://www.studio80s.com [Accessed 22 November, 2014]