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IntroductionAbout the Work
The artist explains his series “Habitat” with a quotation from Jean Paul: “Our memories are the only paradise from which we can never be expelled.” It is hard to believe that anyone living a hundred years ago could have dreamed the luxurious buildings sought out by Fennema would ever be abandoned. What remains are memories of glorious times, of history being experienced, of wealthy inhabitants and their guests.
As Fennema’s atmospheric photographs reveal, the beauty of this pompous architecture remains intact. These antiquated locations have become mysteries to be explored. Fennema approaches the grandiose rooms with such finesse that one almost hopes the impressive monuments might never be woken from their slumber.
About the Artist
Although Sven Fennema enjoyed photography as a child, his great passion for this artistic medium was discovered by chance. Needing a stock of photographs to pursue his hobby of creating photo montages, Fennema bought a DSLR camera and started shooting. He began to enjoy the experience immediately, and by 2007, he was ready to devote himself to a career in photography.
A self-taught photographer of remarkable talent, Fennema did not have to wait long for success. His work has been shown in galleries and exhibitions across Europe and published in highly-praised books. Since 2010, Fennema has had his own studio, Living Pictures, in his new hometown of Krefeld, Germany.
To find his incredible locations, Sven Fennema spends considerable time buried in archives, examining satellite maps, and travelling. Though laborious, the search for the ideal image ultimately brings success and is as important as the works themselves. The unusual places Fennema uncovers appear to take on a new life in his images.
Fennema hopes to take a number of exciting journeys in the future, but admits that “There are more amazing subjects than there are opportunities to travel.” Once he has found a building, the artist allows himself time to soak in the space and atmosphere. Ideas form in his head for how to approach and execute his shots. In order to create the mysterious lighting that is so characteristic of his works, Fennema uses a fixed tripod and shoots each scene multiple times with bracketed exposure. He then combines the images digitally.
“In buildings where many people see only decay and sadness, I find a special kind of beauty.” Sven FennemaBio
1981 Born in Xanten, Germany Lives and works in Krefeld, GermanyExhibitions
2014 Architektur fotografieren: Tales of Yesteryear, Architekturschaufenster, Karlsruhe, Germany Tales of Yesteryear, Gewölbekeller Kloster Kamp, Kamp-Lintfort, Germany Tales of Yesteryear, Kunst im Rathaus, Mindelheim, Germany 2013 Poetry of Yesteryear, Villa Corte Eremo, Mantua, Italy
2014 Staging and revelation II, Art Gallery AFK, Lisbon, Portugal 2013 Clarks Collection, Museum Casa del Mantegna, Mantua, Italy ARTocalypse, Gallery Fotoexpo202, Amersfoort, Netherlands The establishment of peace, Gallery Kontexte & Transkription, Mönchengladbach, Germany 2012 Forgotten places, Publicis Headquarters, Champs-Élysées, Paris, France 2011 Summer exhibition, Gallery ART UNIT, Düsseldorf, Germany BLUR PHOTO 011, Gallery of the Croation Post, Zagreb, Croatia ART ON DEMAND, artium Kunstsalon, Bad Honnef, Germany