Dr. Elisabeth Hartung
On the depth of the moment. The art of Sonja Weber.
Waves in the ocean, ripples in a fountain, gentle clouds, wind-swept hair. These detail shots of fleeting moments are the work of Sonja Weber, who transforms her photographs into pieces of art that open up new spaces in which to reflect on the moment. Her works unite sophisticated technique with formal clarity and poetry. The result is a single entity unlike anything that has been seen before.
At first sight, the peacefulness and precision of her motifs is intriguing. Her ocean images seem almost meditative, depicting nothing but the undulating movements of the water and the interplay of light and shade on its surface. The care with which she selects, captures and artistically re-creates these moments is perhaps most apparent in her detail shots of hair fluttering in the breeze. By enlarging her images, Weber creates impressive compositions. Their lines and planes combine in such a way that the object itself, as a formal structure, recedes to the point of mystery. Yet all the while, the image retains its fascinating photo-realistic precision.
The particularly intriguing element in the work of this Munich-based artist comes into play as the observer approaches the piece. On drawing nearer, the illusion of a photograph or a skilfully executed, realistic painting gradually disappears. The picture dissolves to become a woven structure. Rather than being an image on canvas, the image becomes the canvas itself. The countless criss-crossing threads of which it is composed lend it depth, opening up spaces for ever-new viewpoints and perspectives. Colours change with the angle of the light and the observer’s position. Waves appear to undulate and clouds drift into new formations, taking the light with them as they move.
Sonja Weber’s detail shots set momentary natural phenomena into motion once again. That motion continues in the observer’s imagination.
Sonja Weber’s technique is an innovative symbiosis of artistic creativity and ancient craftsmanship, of painting and photography, digital processing and industrial production. But unlike a craftsman or woman, technique itself never forms the focal theme of her work. Far more, Sonja Weber takes her motifs and technique and draws completely new perspectives and approaches from them. Rather than settling for passive acceptance, she invites the observer to focus on something apparently simple and allow its poetic and cultural significance to speak.
Sonja Weber is skilled in the application of weaving for her artistic ends of presenting the depth of the moment and the image of flow and transition as a metaphor for being.
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