Isabella Ståhl (b. 1984) left home at 15 to study photography in Stockholm. After this, she moved between Sweden and New York, continuing to learn about image-making at the International Center of Photography, and has since pursued a peripatetic lifestyle in a number of cities, including Berlin, Barcelona and Oslo. Despite, or perhaps due to this consistent movement between countries, Ståhl is interested in the iconography of nature associated with rural Scandinavia. Melancholy and, at times, tied to a Romantic sensibility, these images communicate the involuntary desire to return to the notion of home. Open spaces of lakes, woodlands and empty roads are a compelling emblem for desolation – that is, in place of its negative connotations, also a recognition of tranquillity and a rejection of urbanisation. Ståhl’s work has been published in several online and print publications including New York Magazine, Somewhere Magazine and Juxtapoz. www.isabellastahl.com.
Into the Wilderness
Romina Ressia’s work is an analysis of contemporary society. Classical influences can be seen across her oeuvre as a method of decoding modernity.
Jane Gottlieb’s latest solo show is at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara, until 29 April. We speak with her about the exhibition.