Silke Lauffs studied Interior Architecture in Hannover where she discovered her love for photography. After living in New York, she returned to Germany where she began to focus more on her photography.
Since 1997 Silke has been living in Berlin as a freelance photographer, working for magazines such as Elle Decoration, Léonce or Allegra, as well as for newspapers as FAZ, ZEIT or SPIEGEL.
In recent years Lauffs has become drawn towards landscape photography, which is has become passion. Lauffs takes these photos as she travels throughout the globe using a panoramic camera to get the best shot. She captures foggy landscapes full of smooth shapes appearing as if in a dream. Then she develops these photos by hand in her dark room using sepia coloured Barytpaper to add to the dreamlike effect of her photographs.
In her first group exhibition in Berlin Lauffs was displayed alongside respected photographers such as Flor Garduño, Irving Penn, Sarah Moon and Robert Maxwell. More exhibitions in Germany, Austria, France and Italy soon followed. Ever since her first solo exhibition in 2000, also in Berlin, Lauffs has received great attention in her own right throughout German and Europe. Bernheimer Gallery has been displaying her works regularly since 2005 in solo and group context. This year we are proud to present selected works from Lauffs’ Asia, Austria, India and South Africa series as part of our “Enchated Landscape” exhibition.
The Asia series was photographed during Lauffs’ trip to Southeast Asia where she became fascinated by its history. Lauffs poetically conveys the sacred spaces and enigmatic landscapes of the exotic continent that inspired her. Her pictures seem to capture the cultural past of South Asia.
For her series in Austria Lauffs chose to focus exclusively on the Salzkammergut area along the Fuschlsee. Instead of changing landscapes, Lauffs decided to capture the shifting seasons. In this series Lauffs achieves her goal of capturing the timeless beauty and untouched nature of her surroundings. By focusing on the mountain and seascapes of Salzburg she catches the immortal romance of Salzkammergut. These panoramic landscapes demonstrate her appreciation for aesthetics and are characterised by a unique three-dimensional effect to enhance the natural beauty of this location.
In comparison Lauffs images of India are far more varied, depicting scenery and life from Delhi to Pushkar, Jaislamer to Goa. They seem to offer a glimpse into another, more surreal world as Lauffs purposely took pictures of blurred scenes to create this impression. Her landscapes from India seem nostalgic and melancholy as she captures places without any sign of human life.
The South Africa portfolio portrays the unique landscape formed of naturally composed of horizontal lines. Yet in Lauffs’ pictures sky and earth mirror one another, only demarcated by the natural horizon or rock formations, with the sky providing atmosphere in contrast to the narrative of the landscape. Often taken early in the morning, Lauffs conveys a sense of the earth awakening through these photographs. The pictorial contrast and smooth lines of the landscape evoke early nineteenth century Pictorialism, imitating the effects of painting. Her photos share a certain similarity to the Impressionist traditions of artists such as Heinrich Kühn or Edward Steichen.