Silent Speech 2013-2015
Words by Kezia Geddes- Lismore Regional Art Gallery 2014.
Raimond de Weerdt subverts the commonly held idea that photography captures reality and is therefore a measure of truth. De Weerdt uses his command of the technical possibilities of digital photography to explore a push and pull between realism and fictional, dreamlike states. The resulting works are mysterious and unsettling, drawing us in to unravel untold stories from an unknown time.
De Weerdt is interested in our instinct to search for narratives in imagery pointing out: “A photograph is a single frame with no sound, no beginning and no end so it is inevitable that the viewer has to complete the picture in their own mind. My photographs attempt to provide the viewer with a sense of incomplete mystery or suspense which they have to fill.”
These images transform the contemporary world into places of grace and strange otherworldly beauty, conjuring up the Gothic, Film Noir, and 17th and 18th Century European paintings. With formal compositions and bold contrasts between light and shade, they use some of the language of those genres of film and painting, pressing us to see the world differently. Metropolis 1 for example is a Beijing cityscape that shows de Weerdt’s interest in the way Film Noir directors have used light and camera angles to create visual tension and suspense. The Bangkok skyline appears sublime like a mountain landscape, majestic but ominous and looming.
The subjects of this exhibition are varied and include flowers, a housing estate in Holland, portraits, a sculpture from the Rijks Museum, the Bangkok skyline, and sites in and around Lismore. Captured from a selection of sites from the artist’s travels and close by his home, the subjects are ordinary but rendered extraordinary.