Treescape

[pullquote align=”left or right”]”I am not a tree hugger, an esoteric or particularly religious, but when I’m standing in the forest, I always get this undefinable feeling and desire to describe it.” (Kaupo Kikkas)[/pullquote]

Until this coming Sunday, the 20th of September, at the Latvian Photography Museum, the exhibition “Treescape” will be shown. This exhibition consists of 15 black and white photographs of varied format taken by Estonian fine art photographer, Kaupo Kikkas. Having dedicated the past twelve years of his career to fine art photography, Kikkas has decided to focus his most recent work on trees, trying to capture their essence, texture and story.

After completing his formal training in photography at Finland’s Visual Arts Institute, Kikkas has worked on photography projects all over the world. He is based in Northern Europe, and is found frequently working in London. Kikkas also works in the USA and engages in annual projects in the Amazon Rainforest. Although the nature of his most recent exhibition Treescape might suggest that Kikkas is purely an environmental and landscape photographer, inspiration for his work has been sparked by completely unconnected subjects. The stimuli for his personal projects include a study of graveyards, a portrait series of shale miners, and images of a lost cinema in the Egyptian desert. In 2013, Kikkas was named best commercial portrait photographer at the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Las Vegas 16×20 print competition and was also honoured as the best Estonian portrait photographer in 2011 at the Baltic’s Photography Festival.

As the aforementioned quote shows, Kikkas does not consider himself to be a “tree hugger”, so you may be wondering why the subject of trees has captured Kikkas’ imagination for this exhibition. On his website, Kikkas describes how he is fascinated by the fact that trees are such a vital part of our environment which we often take for granted and overlook. He claims that he has been trying to find a way to represent trees for many years.

[testimonial author=”Kikkas”]“When attempting to describe that feeling, I discovered that there are no words for it. There simply aren’t and that’s it. Thus I have been trying to say it with a camera for years now.”[/testimonial]

According to Kikkas, our rigid use of lexicology and vocabulary hinders him from fully expressing in words the feeling that trees evoke inside of him. Therefore, Kikkas feels that he can better express this feeling by capturing the life of trees with his camera. Using black and white film, Kikkas wanted to exaggerate the texture and pattern dynamics of trees by blurring as much of the surrounding natural environment as possible.

[testimonial author=”Kikkas”]“I see a story in the cracked and patterned plank that has lasted for more than a generation.”[/testimonial]

Regardless of whether you identify as a tree hugger or not, if you are interested in going to see Kikkas’ exhibition, the Latvian Photography Museum is open from 10.00-17.00.

To find out more, visit these websites:

http://www.fotomuzejs.lv/exhibitions/current/371-kaupokikas

http://www.kaupokikkas.com/treescapekikkas/

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