Posted by René Koster on March 15, 2019
Night has the ability to provoke a sense of isolation. I want to display a world that seems to only consist of one single blossom tree with its delicate flowers. Some branches are extracted from sight, while others are revealed, affecting the shape and appearance of the blossom tree.
In this project I refer to the work of the 19th century Romantic landscape painters. Their personal concept of nature, creating a new one, appeals to me. Whereas the Romantic artists preferred wide landscapes I let the blossom tree with its exquisite details represent the greatness of the untameable nature. This is my interpretation of the Sublime of nature; I want to transform nature in order to reveal inner values.
The beauty and frailness of the blossom in contrast with the rough branches, often irregularly shaped; I understand why so many artists before me found the blossom tree the perfect subject matter. I find blossom trees in unexpected places like industrial areas. Working at night, I use the dark to to conceal the surroundings.
I want the blossom trees in my work to become part of a drama without the necessity of a drama actually taking place. It is only the impression of a tragedy that matters to me. I isolate nature by only showing a detail, striving for a feeling of endless untamed nature.
Personally I feel no need to have the photographs form a series. This allows me to approach each image individually; sometimes resulting in black and white, at the same time other images have been executed in color. Even the intensity of the colors may vary; seeking for ways to show nature as the most sublime object.
- All images above ©2019 René Koster. All rights reserved. -
Even before my time at the Art Academy I already had a keen interest in art and history; this often shows in my work. Being inspired by books and movies as well, often a sense can linger on to find its way into my work at some time.
After reading “1812”, that tells the tragic story about Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, I set out to Waterloo to portray re-enactors. Devoting their time to carefully reconstructing events and periods these men and women form a new community, an alliance where nationality and age are irrelevant. Rather than choosing a journalistic approach, I leaned heavily on the 18th-century art of painting. Isolating my subjects, carefully avoiding elements that could be linked to the present times; I wanted to give this series a sense of drama.
There is always a concept of the narrative before I start taking photographs. For every journey, I prepare by collecting information about the area and its history. This enables me to form an idea about the story I want to tell through my work. Then, my focus shifts towards finding the right pictures that fit into the story.
A journey to Antarctica by a tall ship built in 1911 gave me the chance to make a photo series dedicated to the great explorers of the early 1900s. The slow rate of travelling by sailing ship influenced my way of taking photographs; searching to capture the stillness, harmony and tragedy in the landscape.
In 2018 the quest for Antarctica continued when two men, American adventure-athlete Colin Brady and British Army Captain Louis Rudd, both set out to become the first person in history to cross Antarctica solo and unsupported. Photographing Rudd during his last preparations in a freezing storm in Iceland that lasted for days, gave me a sense of the hardship that this modern explorer was about to face during his solo trek. To honour Ernest Shackleton who trekked towards the South Pole in extremely difficult conditions, leading the 'Endurance' expedition of 1914-16, Rudd's expedition was named “Spirit of Endurance”.