Seas and oceans are central to the work of Dirk Roseport. With his Transcendental Tranquility – Oceans Project he makes a contemporary reference to a romantic tradition within painting: that of the artist/photographer shunning the turbulence of the 21st century.
He likes to let the ocean do its thing and strips perception down to its essence. What we see however is much more than the observation of water, horizon and sky.
The alienation created by his way of working creates a twilight zone that invites reflection and interpretation. The experience is pleasant and painfully elusive at the same time, reducing time to nothing, disappearing into oblivion.
Often the oceans are no longer recognizable and they become Rothkosian color impressions, but his goal is not to show an ocean. It is to create a scene that generates a state of calm in which what is perceived as troublesome in the psyche falls away.
The images create an all-encompassing feeling of powerlessness, but at the same time are surprisingly liberating. Looking at the images for a longer time, one will experience how they look different from moment to moment, as if a new reality is being created all the time.
The sequential placement in a series and the repetitive nature of the composition – water and sky sliced in half by the horizon – evoke an almost meditative state.
The deliberately centralized placement of the horizon(tal line), which is an elemental component of the composition in many of the images, simultaneously imposes and deconstructs any form of hierarchy and convention within photography and in the way it is viewed.
Subtle changes in color and hue separate the sea from the sky and abstract the transition between the two. The layered, intriguing images exude a deceptive silence, in which the observer drowns and obtains a sense of peace that is so often lacking in our modern lives. The result is moments of striking and penetrating calm in a world where we are constantly besieged by an excess of intrusive stimuli.
Throughout the years Transcendental Tranquility has become an essentially endless series of unique, emotionally charged images.
Through his choice of subject, layering and execution, Transcendental Tranquility often balances on the interface between photography, painting and film.
In times of unbridled manipulation of images and in line with the subject of his photography, Roseport swears by the authenticity of non-edited images for this project. What the viewer sees is what he captures with the camera at the moment of the shot.
Roseport has been working on his project Transcendental Tranquility since 2015, photographing seas and oceans in Belgium, Great Britain, USA, Spain, Italy and France. The project is regularly expanded with new images.
About Dirk Roseport
Advertising creative director and self-taught photographer. Inspired by Jem Southam, Jonathan Smith, Mark Rothko, Mies van der Rohe, Mihokajioka, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Annie Leibovitz, Asako Naharashi and new discoveries every day… Roseport focuses on projects that he fills out thematically over several years. [Official Website]
“Taking everything superfluous out is for me the basis of good design, and it returns me to that simpler state in myself. So I strip the making process back to the three elements; water, horizon, sky.”
“The immensity of sky and water seems to generate states of calm where what feels troublesome in the psyche drops away. Then interestingly later, after the slowness, we start projecting thoughts onto the tableau again.”
“I’m always surfing the edge between photography and painting. My concern is with the tableau, before which people can encounter rhythms of reality.”
“The layered, intriguing images exude a deceptive silence. Invite repeated viewing, in which the observer drowns and obtains a sense of peace that is so often lacking in our modern lives.”
“At exhibitions I have heard people often say that the images spread a blanket of calm over them. That they invite repeated viewing, in which they sort of drown until they obtain a sense of peace that is so often lacking in our modern lives. Which is just a wonderful feeling, because it is exactly what happens to me at the moment of the shoot. And it is exactly the feeling I try to communicate with this project.”