I originally trained as an architect and have been influenced by extensive travel and work in Japan since the early 1990s. There, I studied the technique of Sumi-e, Japanese ink painting, sharpening my perception of the composition of both colour and form. Through the aesthetic concept of wabi-sabi I discovered beauty as the acceptance of impermanence, imperfection, and vulnerability. I use the medium of photography to translate this concept into images. Each image is an encounter with a particular object at a particular moment in time, requiring weeks and months of intimate observation to find it.
Extensive research, a lively exchange with scientists, and patient experimentation helped me find a way to depict the internal architecture of living objects. All the processes used are essentially analogous and consist of meticulously preparing each organism for the right moment to be photographed, namely when the object reflects its most fragile state, which fluctuates between being and perishing.
During the drying process, I extract water-soluble plant pigments, anthocyanins, from the objects, which are then reconcentrated into a natural dye. Then I submerge the translucent plants into a liquid medium in which they are given space to unfurl. Sometimes I introduce the floral dye into that very same medium where it diffuses in swirling, colorful tendrils. The interaction between colour and form becomes a poetic dance that also reveals the hidden alchemy inherent in all living matter.
“Color has become abstraction, creating its own idiom following the laws of nature and in the alternation of movement, gravity, and flow, and now struggling with forms of the plant for an equal footing in the picture. As in music, the sounds dance around the instruments. Who can say what is plant, what is nature, what is human hand? Everything unites before our eyes in one image, the image of a tulip by Kathrin Linkersdorff, who is listening to its silent whisper.” (Jens Komossa)
In my new research project, which will be shown for the first time at the museum Deichtorhallen / PHOXXI, the Temporary House of Photography, in Hamburg / Germany I make use of bacteria. The resulting new series of works will be created in collaboration with the microbiologist Prof. Dr. Regine Hengge from the Excellence Cluster Matters of Activity at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. In order to visualize processes that materials undergo in nature, discolored plants and fruits will serve as a growth substrate for bacteria, which form morphologically differentiated and spectacularly colorful colonies with their colored antibiotics. The complex interplay of growth and decay in nature is thus made directly visible.