Helene Schmitz .
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Helene Schmitz At the age of twelve I got a Kodak Instamatic Camera as a birthday present from my parents. Since then, photography has been an important ingredient in my life. As a photographer I am interested in nature, which has been the main subject in my work for the last ten years. My major interest is the concept of nature, the ideas and projections we impose on it, and how it is described and represented in science, art and literature. Western art and literature attributes a kind of innocence to nature. I am interested in the more obscure sides of nature. In the project Sunken gardens, I was fascinated by a butterfly farm I visited in the South American jungle. I encountered this place while working on a book about the Swedish naturalist, Daniel Rolander. Rolander travelled in Surinam in the 18th century. Within the butterfly farm's enclosed spaces, the overlapping of nature and culture fascinated me.  It evoked mixed feelings of attraction and anxiety. My project deals with something lost. Traces of human presence are dominated and on the edge of being absorbed by a nature out of control. The door. The moonlight room. Untitled 1. Untitled 2. Untitled 3. The Carnivores is a project on carnivorous plants, which I did for National Geographic Magazine. What interested me with these plants is that they are flowers, but they have nothing of the passive, peaceful and serene qualities that we associate with flowers as they attract, lure and finally devour their prey. Their surrealist kind of beauty also captivated my interest. Drosera stolonifera. Droseras in bud. Nepenthes lowii. The Darlingtonia and the moth. The Venus Flytrap. Butterflies - The Rolander project. These images depicts butterflies in different life cycles. I did these images inspired by the artist and entomologist Maria Sibyla Meriam. Meram visited Surinam in the beginning of the 18th century. When exploring the life cycles of the butterflies I was fascinated by the extreme transformation this creature undergo during their lifetime. I was also interested in how the butterfly are represented in art, the concept of transformation, and how they have been used as a representation of the soul. Butterflies on a net. Catepillars of  Catonephele aconthius. Chrysalis of the Catonephele aconthius butterfly. Morpho helenor. Owl butterfly Caligo teucer.
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