Britta Jaschinski
German, b. 1965)

Britta Jaschinski, is one of the premier contemporary photographers engaged in the work of representing animals. Born in 1965 in Bremen, Germany, she has lived and worked in London since 1993, after completing a degree in photography at the Arts University Bournemouth in South England. Jaschinski is a photographer of nature – but not in its conventional forms. While her work encompasses the inherent beauty and purity of the natural world, she is also keenly attuned to the frailty of nature: its susceptibility to manipulation and desecration at the hands of its most self-important element, homo sapiens. In the 1990s, Jaschinski worked extensively to document the sad and scary world of captive animals in zoos. Her portraits of these animals were poignant and often pathetic. Dark, disjointed representations of creatures in concrete and metal compounds conveyed the displacement that characterized their existence. ZOO gained her instant recognition in 1996 following a show at the Photographers Gallery in London and an accompanying book, depicting haunting black and white images from zoos around the world (published by Phaidon Press). There followed a series of awards.

Her book WILD THINGS was launched in 2003, published by Thames & Hudson UK. Wild Things combines photography of animals and landscape in a way that prompts people to determine for ourselves the relationship between living creatures and their environment. The world seen here is majestic, transcendent, but also, suddenly, threatened. Despite its inherent power, it could easily become barren, sterile, toxic. Nature is out there, universal and eternal, and then, perhaps, it is gone.

Between 2005 and 2010 Jaschinski worked on DARK, a series of images looking at the otherness of animals. These images are profoundly troubling. They feature individual animals in settings that are often disorienting — against blank backdrops — because they are unnatural: many of the animals we see are starkly alienated from their natural habitat. The aesthetic of her photography exacerbates viewers’ sense of disorientation as we look at images that are dark, or grainy, or blurry, or silhouetted, or otherwise weirdly lit and brusquely cropped.

In 2012 and in 2014 she travelled to China and documented animals at their worse suffering. These animals are shoddy, tatty, broken. We cannot help but flinch away from meeting their gaze, with the embarrassing consciousness that we (as a species) are responsible for their suffering. These encounters portray nothing but constraint and torture: unimaginable abrogation of the animals’ normalcy, their autonomy, and their happiness. This is what happens to animals in the clutches of human culture. Her photographs are an homage to the animal’s nobility and an angry protest at their constraints. Jaschinski’s work is published and exhibited world-wide. She has received a number of major awards.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2015 Festival Photo Montier France
2014 Bluerider ART Gallery Taipei
2013 International Nature Photo Festival Luenen, Germany
2012 WildPhotos, Image Presentation London
2011 Ville de Differdange Luxemburg
2009 Kuusamo Nature Photo Finland
2006 Natural History Museum Reutlingen Germany
2004 Gallery 11 Hamburg
2003 Hackelbury Gallery London
1999 Norwich Art Gallery England
1998 Hohenthal und Bergen Berlin
1998 Portfolio Gallery Edinburgh
1998 Planetario Pamplona, Spain
1997 Hartlepool Art Gallery England
1997 Kathleen Ewing Gallery Washington DC
1996 Dick Institute Kilmarnock, Scotland
1996 Impressions Gallery York, England
1995 Photographers’ Gallery London

Selected Group Exhibitions

2016 BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year World Tour
2015 WPY | Natural History Museum London London
2013 GDT European Wildlife Photographer Germany Tour
2013 The Gallery Project Michigan, USA
2011 BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Yea World Tour
2010 Naturkunde Museum Berlin
2010 Musée d’Histoire Naturelle Musée d’Histoire Naturelle
2009 Richard Young Gallery London
2008 The Gallery Project Michigan, USA
2003 Hatton Gallery Newcastle, England
2001 Artomatic Gallery London
1997 Center for Contemporary Art Glasgow, Scotland
1995 Goethe Institute London
1993 ICA Mall Galleries London

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