Sarah van Rij (NL, b. 1990) is a self-taught photographer who documents fleeting fragments of life on the street. Working intuitively, and observing her chosen territory closely, van Rij’s images convey a clear visual signature defined by a number of recurring elements, including careful framing; experiments with perspective; touches of vivid colour; and traces of human forms.
Her work draws influences from various artistic fields – from painting to cinema – whilst building upon rich and longstanding photographic traditions for capturing the subtle beauty found in the everyday. Whilst van Rij’s images are inherently contemporary (a number of photographs are shot on the artist’s iPhone), it is often difficult to place them in time: with the occasional exception, her subject matter is largely devoid of any temporal indicators, lending her work an ageless feeling and evoking nostalgia for times gone by.
Forced indoors by periods of lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, van Rij began work on her Quarantine Still Lifes series, which is presented here at Foto Tallinn: ‘I definitely started looking at details in my home differently in the past weeks. Normally I work out on the street in the places I visit. But since the world has become a still life in itself, and now that my space is limited, I’ve started focusing more on shooting still-lifes, which means working with things found around the house. If you have the urge to create in these times you have to be open and adapt to new spaces and their limitations.’
Artist is presented by A Corner With