Last night, I was fortunate to be given a glimpse of the future of photography and it was exciting. There was an engrossing talk on Wednesday 15 June at Hoopers Gallery in London EC1 in which Andrea Bátorfi, Hungarian photographer was in conversation with Colin Ford CBE, Curator of the forthcoming Exhibition at the Royal Academy – Eyewitness: Hungarian Photography in the 20th Century; and Martin Barnes, Royal Academy. As the trio of speakers discoursed in an absorbing manner on a variety of subjects that flowed naturally from her Unfolding Exhibition also at the Gallery, I came to realise that this just might be the start of something transformative in the photographic world.
Both this talk and Andrea’s Exhibition were organised by Roger Hooper, Helen Esmonde and others, directors of the Gallery, who have enthusiastically championed the cause of photography in the arts world by providing a showcase for innovative talent and support for recognised modern masters.
Andrea Bátorfi’s skill as an artist is manifold as it is exhilarating because her work demonstrates a unique sensitivity to philosophy, photography and cutting-edge computer technology. Her effective management of these three distinct skill sets serves as being the cornerstones of her work. The impression she made on her audience last night during the course of this conversation at Hoopers Gallery was spellbinding and, as an observer, I find myself having to restrain the use of hyberbole when describing her imagery. Somehow, Andrea has harnessed the modernity of photography and then conjoined this anarchic digital beast with well-established belief systems that have nurtured the spiritual and life-supporting structures of the world’s population over the centuries resulting in an exciting and distinctive body of work where symmetry and layering are prominent.
Her golden strength is that she has twigged that photography has arrived at a vital point in its developmental path so that it has the power to be able to capture the output produced from the meditative state that Andrea has revealed as being a vital part of her creative process; such a contemplative technique is also in harmony with the ancient philosophical mores she lives by.
Interestingly, she has also come up with a template that is ripe for further exploitation by others in this field and the added appeal of her modus operandi is that her pictures appeal in so many different ways to a potentially very wide audience of all ages. This is truly ground breaking stuff because the presentation of her work is so new while being extremely complex and yet so simple at the same time.
Keeping in mind how we also discussed the Romantic tradition during the course of last night’s conversation, I would predict that Andrea’s photography will come to be seen as an early 21st century exemplar of this noble movement where the genesis of a paradigm shift in the arts world is now in the making.
Furthermore, I am heartened to see that a woman is achieving prominence in photography in such a thought-provoking manner hereby creating a universe of wonder for us all. And Andrea did this with such gentility and sensitivity that is to be admired while deftly showing that photography is doing its bit to break down barriers in terms of gender and the arts.
©Nicholas Mackey 16 June 2011