Robin creates handheld double exposure photographs of architecture and landscapes with film and digital cameras. His photographic work is highly graphic and abstract and often manages to engage and surprise the viewer as it appears to show new interpretations of the reality around us. The familiarity of the scenes combined with the surreal intervention provided by the multiple exposure technique offers a unique new take on common themes. The juxtaposition refreshes and gives new life to the landscapes or urban vistas that we often have become so oblivious to in daily life. Robin attempts to offer a new way of seeing the world around us by blending reality’s lines and forms into a parallel photographic universe. Every artwork is made by overlapping two consecutive exposures in the camera. Two consecutive exposures are made with a 180° rotation of the camera in between shutter releases and are carefully aligned by hand. The resulting images show where the overlapping highlights blow out the darker parts of the image, creating graphic shapes and morphing architecture and landscapes into new versions of themselves, giving them the ability to float in the process. Carefully choosing, aligning and overlapping these areas of light and dark is crucial and is what ultimately defines the final appearance of the artworks.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Robin Vandenabeele (b. Belgium, 1977) is a freelance fine art photographer that resides in Bruges, Belgium when he is not travelling or sent abroad for professional reasons. In his early 20's, Vandenabeele became a staging supervisor for a Belgian company, StageCo, and has since been employed by artists such as The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Béyoncé, Robbie Williams, Muse, Coldplay, Johnny Halliday, Elton John, Take That and many more on large international tours to build their performing platforms. It was during one of these tours that the desire to visually document his surroundings and adventures made him buy a Pentax film camera. This camera followed Vandenabeele everywhere and took many a beating but never failed to produce the most remarkable images. A lot of experiments were carried out, just to push the technical limits of the films and find out what happened to the resulting images. Using expired slide film that would be cross-processed (E6 film developed in E-41 chemicals) to produce stunning colours and heightened contrast would be one of these manipulations, using extremely high speed film or un unusual shutter times would be another. One of those experiments, a double exposure with a rotation in between captures, made with a plastic Holga toy camera, caught his interest because of the promise of immense graphic possibilities. Most of the energy dedicated to his photography has since been channeled into this experiment that is slowly but surely starting to make up the bulk of his photographic archive. Vandenabeele still works as an entertainment rigger and stage builder, while also working as a fine art photographer.