“Magical bridges between heaven and earth”
Hanna Mattes at Belmacz
The exhibition as a whole demonstrates life and destruction in its raw forms - the life of the meteorite and the destruction of the Earth - but also renewal of Earth making way for new life, taking us full circle.
Hanna Mattes, Title: Upheaval Dome 2016-2017
Hanna Mattes’ first UK solo exhibition Searching for the Cold Spot opened up at Belmacz in Mayfair this spring, accompanied by text from David Colosi. Born in Munich, Germany, Mattes grew up surrounded by a family of artists and filmmakers whom have made an evident impact on her body of work, as she blends photography and painting, experimenting with photographic techniques to depict a romance within the relationship between the life and destruction of meteorites and their impacts.
In the recent series, Searching for the Cold Spot, Mattes travelled the vast landscapes of the US and the Canary Islands, capturing the impacts of meteorites and the path of destruction they left behind billions of years ago. Taking the process of documentation further, Mattes created a series of supernatural prints to accompany the analogue photographs; she examined the mineral collections of international Natural History Museums, selecting a few of the impacting rocks to photograph and then manipulate with watercolours. In altering the traditional approach to photography by painting over the negatives, Matte has created magical-looking prints, conveying the fantastical immensity of the rocks and effects of nature.
Juxtaposing the series of analogue photographs, which were taken at a distance to capture the scale of the craters, alongside prints of the rocks that are magnified, Mattes manages to highlight their similarities and textural connections. When positioned next to one another - the impacting rock and the crater - the meteorites' destructive force is evident in all its beautiful, ruinous glory.
Presented in the exhibition, making the concept of the series all the more tangible and real, is a cabinet of ores, opals and quartz crystals. Having the virtue of enjoying access to such a vast availability of images of such landscapes via the internet, plus easier-than-ever travel options, often means we take the powers that made these landscapes for granted. Yet in Searching for the Cold Spot we are looking at these newly documented landscapes alongside carefully selected natural objects, which demonstrates in a visceral way the sheer forces of nature, as well as the importance of examining its beauty for purposes of art and science.
Mattes manages to conveys the relationship between the meteorite that destroyed the Earth that was once stood seemingly solid, and the exchange for water and chemicals essential for human life in a visually engaging manner. The exhibition as a whole demonstrates life and destruction in its raw forms - the life of the meteorite and the destruction of the Earth - but also renewal of Earth making way for new life, taking us full circle.
Written by Louise Higgs
Hanna Mattes, Title: Steine #6