Kathrin Linkersdorff, (born 1966 Berlin) trained as an architect. Influenced by extensive travelling and working in Japan she became fascinated by traditional Japanese culture and went on to study Japanese ink wash painting and the aesthetic concept of wabi-sabi. She completed her studies in photography at the Schule für Fotografie am Schiffsbauerdam in Berlin with Robert Lyons in 2006-2007.
Using the medium of photography, Kathrin Linkersdorff translates the concept of wabi-sabi into pictures. Each image is an encounter with a particular object at a particular time, which takes weeks and months of intimate observation to find. Extensive research, lively exchange with scientists and patient experimenting has helped her to discover a way of depicting the inner architecture of living objects.
Her latest series, Fairies I-VI, represents the result of years of experimentation and testing: capturing fading moments of transience with the lightest possible touch. Research and the practice of biological methodology has turned her studio into a laboratory. Colours are extracted from the plants and, at the same time, she creates coloured liquids based on the concentrated, water-soluble plant pigments, anthocyanins. These extracted colours are carefully reintroduced to the faded plant tissues and given space to again unfurl. The interaction between colour and form becomes a poetic dance that also reveals the hidden alchemy present in all living matter.
‘Is it possible to look at this photographer’s Fairies without a rain of associations falling upon them? What fascinates me is the undulating sense of a slow-motion ballet. I am reminded of those films of astonishing deep-sea creatures, or even jellyfish. In 1920 Doyle wrote of the Cottingley Fairies, `The recognition of their existence will jolt the material 20th Century mind out of its heavy ruts in the mud, and will make it admit that there is a glamour and a mystery to life’. Kathrin Linkersdorff’s Fairies, appearing one hundred years later, might well have satisfied Doyle’s yearning. (William Ewing)
The 66th edition of the Photo London magazine is dedicated to Kathrin Linkersdorff’s series, Fairies.
The exhibition, Kathrin Linkersdorff, a Glamour and a Mystery, will be held at the Deichtor Hallen, Internationale Kunst und Fotografie, Hamburg, Autumn 2023