All the Lockdowns

It has been more than two years now. We all in this country have experienced Brexit and a full scale Pandemic. Both had the impact on my life that it became much busier than before due to essential work, food supplies, community support I was involved in. Not much time for art, especially no head space. Also no opportunity to drive to the lab and back with my negatives, so I stuck to digital photography when I had time to go out and do some photographic work.

Initially after the pandemic I thought things might ease off a bit and life would become more normal again. But now, since 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, a free and independent country, and started a serious, brutal war. It still is unbelievable this has happened. It leaves many of us helpless and overwhelmed. I have the feeling our lives have become a bit unreal, a bit not grounded anymore, very unsettled and insecure in terms of the future of our planet. Well, how to get on with things every day? How to improve things? How to find hope in all of this?

Here are a few impressions of what I found notable in the past months…

Nature sleeping

Sometimes I think the forest is sleeping. When it’s cold and wet and foggy and very quiet. But then, within that silence, I find myself listening a lot, sensing and perceiving the beauty of that open landscape. The wind in the grass, the shapes of bushes and trees, the hint of a sunbeam even and maybe a first bird note…

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The Open Sky Above

I started to think about this photographic project as a result of my personal history. After I had escaped the communist regime of East Germany, an intense dream pointed out the story of my very own population that was forced to live in a tree top world, high up in the air, isolated from anything else, not allowed to question their allegedly perfect environment. A variety of almost touchable but at the same time symbolic images came to me which have been influencing the way I approach reality ever since essentially. During this intense internal viewing I doubted the idyllic quality of the world I belonged to and decided to leave that place heading down a tree trunk into total uncertainty. My very personal attempt to find a place to put down my feet eventually.

 The intensity of this visual and almost spiritual experience made me try to “record” and re-visualize those internal images using my external tool: a camera.

Here is a selection of my work. to see more, please go to

http://www.steffipusch.com

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This Strange Dream Upon the Water

Charles Dickens once described it as “This strange dream upon the water”. Yes. Last time I went to Venice, late in 2013, I thought I might try to capture the essence of all my impressions, of all those rational and irrational and emotional layers of this place. So I took my pinhole camera, squeezed it into the first available corner of Vaporetto No 1, held it tight in a somehow awkward position among too many tourists and released the shutter when the water urged us to jump up and down most on the Canale Grande. This combination of water and movement, up and down, of reflection and light, of fairy like buildings and traffic noises. All at once and you can’t really believe it. And you neither can capture nor record it. If you are lucky, you can try to sense a kernel of truth of what this strange dream is all about.

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Unburdened

Sometimes I wish I could be as unburdened as those young girls seemed to be. Light and without any doubt. Just listening to music – laughter. But then I hardly know them…

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An artist’s home

I recently visited my friend in the far north of Eastern Germany. She was it who introduced me to the work of the artist Otto Niemeyer-Holstein and his beautiful house in the tiny village called Lüttenort on the Island of Usedom. He was forced to make his home there when the Nazis wanted him, so he took his mother and his family and an old railway car and started to build his refuge by the sea. It now has been turned into a beautiful cultural place – and still it has the charm of an artist’s place where you expect him to step around the corner any minute.

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