Encompassing centuries of architecture, the exhibition Sacred Spaces by Ola Kolehmainen a journey through space, time and light. It is presented a selection of hi individual exhibition finished last March in The Helsinki Art Museum that roams for the first time in galería SENDA.
Ola Kolehmainen received in 2014 a commission of the Borusan Collection of Istanbul to develop a photographic project about the Byzantine tradition and the mosques built by the ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. Ola Kolehmainen’s work has always been characterized by reflecting images of contemporary architecture and in this occasion, and for the first time, historical buildings became the object of work. When he was developing Istanbul series, Kolehmainen conceived in parallel the idea of Sacred Spaces’s ones in which spirituality is linked again with contemporary creation through an extensive study of the aesthetic and historic legacy of the religious architecture.
The process of photographing antic empty buildings took him almost fourth years. The pieces are the result of an exhausting research of lighting and framings, based only on the natural light and artificial pre-existing of the building without any type of effect or manipulation. Each place required very careful selected moment to capture a specific light of the desired enviroment.
In some photos of this series Kolehmainen develops a new visual approach based on the fragmentation and deconstruction technique. The views of the spaces are divided and reassembled again in a by-chance-collage through multiples perspectives that create one unique image. In this way, the photos offer a three-dimensional feeling from the use of wide depth field and ranch of lights and shadows. Ola compares this technique of framed details with the reading of a book:
You get caught. Stuck on details. Drawn in. We get to go back. Focus on a point of reference. The frame helps us focus on the details within it
The result of the project becomes a visual celebration where the atmosphere and the light are the common thread that weaves images of main monotheistic religious buildings. The ancient churches, synagogues and mosques contribute in the work of the artist with a new research paradigm in the research that captures sublimity and mysticism. At the same time, his work reflexes the points in common and underlines the mutual influences of the deferens religions inviting the viewer to the reflection about universal nature of Sacred Spaces.