Yaara Gur Arie
I am fascinated by the complex and charged relationship between humans and nature. I also question what is the role of photography in raising environmental consciousness.
My work consists in photographed impressions of the aquatic garden in my home yard. The pool forms a complete habitat, and presents the reciprocal relationships between the organisms to their still environment. The pool is a case study of engineered nature. From my point of view, it is an arena, a laboratory, where I may ask what can be defined as “nature”? In contrast to a botanical illustration, that examines each plant separately, I look for the ecological gaze that examines the individual in its environment.
During the last three years I’ve been watching the pool through my camera. Prolonged, meditative observation of the natural processes unfolding in the pool reveals the constant by the changing. The weather, the light, the colors and the forms ceaselessly change, as in a kaleidoscope. Water plants, algae, fallen branches from the surrounding trees, leaves and seeds blown by the wind, fish and random insects form multiple meeting points. All these components flow like atomic particles in the water currents, ceaselessly connecting and separating in a slow continuous dance. Every split-second new compositions form randomly and naturally. I try to capture them with my camera.
My work uses straight photography without staging or any kind of intervention on my part in what goes on in the pool. I use a 35mm camera and treat the happenings in the pool as events I wish to freeze in snap-shot photos. Light is a central motive. I use only natural light, and look for special qualities of light that turn the moment magical.
In my work I trace the infinite beauty of the pool. Tracing beauty is embedded in the tradition of the school of nature and landscape photography. The beauty of nature did and still does serve as a central rhetoric of environmental ethics. The dance of the algae and the water plants that appears in the work as if free of intentional human intervention, in fact is vicariously controlled. The definition of one plant as a “garden plant” and the other as a “weed” is culture-related, often stemming out of aesthetic concerns, and dictates our attitude toward these plants, and in many cases, their fate as well. In this work I wish to promote aesthetic public relations for pool weeds. To present the richness, beauty and variegation in the chaotic.