Clouds – Skies over Hellendorf

​The pale crisp blue is hunted by the unexpected, unpredicted vibrancy of colour – the sky is in motion. 

Harmony, change, a constant rediscovering: exactly these themes are captured in Maryse Linster’s most recent line of work. Contrary to a first glance perception it is not about photography, technique or medium, but rather about the urge hold on to the intangible beauty of nature. The camera allows her to retain the elusive moments and recreate them for the world to see. 

Underlying this seemingly straightforward concept are subtle social critiques. The sky’s marvellous splendour is there for everyone to see, but how often do we have time to just sit still and enjoy it? Maryse’s photographed paintings of nature pinpoint this aspect of our fast-moving living western society, in which nature seems to be marginalized – a time consuming luxury – being noticed only in the rare occasions of breaks and relaxation. Furthermore, nature undergoes not only this physiological banishment, but also an actual physical regression: due to light pollution the skies seem to have lost their sharpness. They are hidden behind the residues of our consumer society.

By using an old digital camera, the artist does not try to follow the constant strive for the newest, most elaborate technology or jump on the hipster bandwagon, i.e. retro-style Polaroids, but puts the subject into the spotlight!

Technology is only a means, not the key focus.

It is nature that cultivates her work. The painted photographic perceptions do not reflect the artist’s mood, but have their own personality. Maryse selects. Though she listens to her aesthetic judgement, it is her imminent emotional response which is the catalyst. Harmony and motion lead her – the sky never looks the same. It is in constant change. A constant becoming.

Thus nature in its essence, as an entity, represents the source for any inspiration, just as the package of clay was the symbol of untouched inspiration for her earlier art practice. Indeed, Maryse moved from the microcosm of the earth, the clay, into the macrocosm, nature.

Whereas her earlier work was influenced by human activity, the noise, the speed, it is the lack thereof in Hellendorf (a small German village), which inspired her sky pictures. Though the imagery has changed – from organic ceramics, over to minimalist sculpture with clay and recycled items, towards sculptural photography – the essence remains: widening your scope to create harmony as subtle social critique. The photographs thus acquire a painterly aesthetic.