Density is a project dealing with the intertwining structures of wild plants and shrubs to create an abstract, monochrome and painterly picture.
These images explore the fine structure, subtle colouring and beauty of ruderal vegetation and brake in a painterly manner. The Webster definition of ruderal is: "growing where the natural vegetational cover has been disturbed by humans". Since I grew up in a part of Austria's countryside that is dominated by the forest-industry, but also by tourism, I soon became interested in the discrepancy of preserving landscapes for visitors and at the same time exploiting them. My fascination with nature and plants deepened when watching (and helping) their coexistence in my own small garden, but also witnessing their unwillingness to accept certain neighbours, their sudden disappearance or the invasion of wild plants, the overlap of “wild” and “cultivated”.
The overwhelming evolutionary success of plants, their communication with their surroundings and with each other and among many other theories the interesting assumption, mankind’s conviction that plants were created to serve them might in fact be the exact contrary, fascinated me. In this context I also got acquainted with the work of Austrian artist Lois Weinberger on ruderal plants.
The urge to dominate, subdue and exploit nature has led to monocultures in agriculture and forestry. Even up in the high mountains forests are part by part cut down, replanted in strict patterns and constantly "cleaned" to guarantee best growing results. It is increasingly difficult to find spaces that are untouched by man.
It could be regarded as cutting irony that ruderal vegetation and its successors capturing land that had before been “disturbed by human activity” are currently the wildest and most untouched parts of nature. These plant communities are left to themselves without human intervention for years, as there is seemingly no gain in them. I was drawn by their fine structures, delicate colouring, dense intertwining and the various levels combining to a perfect picture of wild density.
Density is not only a project trying to show the beauty of organic structures by close-ups in an abstract, monochrome and painterly way, but, like in the series "Out of Season" an objection against the complete subjugation and standardization of nature for commercial gain.
The series started two years ago shooting along roads, forest edges and old fields in the wetlands and hills near the river Danube in late winter/early spring when the branches and vines are still bare but already full of sap.