Wanderlust (n.) 1902, from German Wanderlust, literally “desire for wandering”
I was about fourteen when I saw a feature on Iceland during a morning talk show. I remember how I was immediately in love with this strange yet breathtaking place I knew very little about. Ten or eleven years later, I visited this magic Nordic island. Anyone who has been to Iceland can back me up when I say it is a truly special and enchanted place.
Enter photographer Paula Sćiuk with her stunning collection entitled “Wanderlust.” The 2016 exhibit consists of eight 26¾ x 40 photos, printed with UltraChrome Ink on Polycarbonate. When Ms. Sćiuk initially sent me thumbnail images of her work, I was instantly excited and inexplicably nostalgic. We continued to fire emails back and forth, planning the logistics of the installation and opening reception at 19 IDEAS. Through our email exchange, I never thought to ask her where the photos were taken. At the opening reception at the end of July, Ms. Sćiuk confirmed that all but two images were shot in Iceland (intrigue surrounding the aforementioned nostalgia hereby satisfied!)
The fluidity of each image spills into a frame we cannot see. We imagine what the entire scene would include and what might be surrounding it. One guest asked if some of Sćiuk’s images were distorted or if any were taken from an underwater perspective. Folds of liquid and pockets of shadow perpetuate the mysterious quality of this transcendent collection. All eight photos are unique but they have a simultaneously reflective and absorptive quality. The images draw the viewer in like quicksand before forgivingly returning their gaze to a reflective and stationary place. The palate of the smooth and dynamic images is cool, and admiring them for any duration provides a calming mollification.
Reflective surfaces are a constant theme in Sćiuk’s work. This can be translated to traveling and exploring new places. Our opinions and notions about the new place or its culture are reflected in the way we perceive and process that information. (Did it meet or exceed our expectations?) When we return home, we bring with us a sort of reflection of the place or how it made us feel. It is a natural and very human act to collect experiences, pile them on top of one another, and name it life.
I encourage you to stop by and experience Paula Sćiuk’s Wanderlust, currently on display at 19 IDEAS or visit her website to view more of her work. For more information or inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org