20 Mar Awe and Isolation in Photographer Louis Vorster’s “Altered Corners”
Nature is not an easily understood force: it doesn’t treat life as sacred or imbue significance in its beauty. Yet sometimes nature can so powerfully reflect our emotions that we create an intense connection to this awesome world, in which we choose to find meaning. Altered Corners is a photographic series consisting of over 30 images in which Louis Vorster aims to capture this sense of human emotion in the natural world.
Shooting around the areas close to his home, in Tulbagh and the Cape Winelands, Louis took most of the images over the last six months on short road trips or exploratory outings on his motorbike, usually to places not easily accessible to everybody. Other images in the series date as far back as 2009 and show areas of the North-West province. The resulting series is Louis’ reflection as a South African on the exchange between man and nature, sometimes subtle and sometimes extremely clear. Yet the images also convey something of our own inner landscapes. Speaking about his work, Louis said “I try to go out on sombre or atmospheric days, because I’m not only intrigued by our connections and relationships with the environment, I also want the photographs to allude to intangible subjects like melancholy, loneliness and introspection.”
Unlike some of his other work featuring people and their relationships and interactions, in this project Louis wanted to explore our dialogue with the natural environment. He finds himself drawn to documenting change in his surroundings and finds in this a source of expression. Ultimately his work evokes a sense of awe and isolation, both in our surroundings and within ourselves.