Purdy Hicks Gallery's forthcoming exhibition of internationally distinguished photographer Ola Kolehmainen (born 1964) will showcase his new series of works made during a lengthy residency in Istanbul. Here he was given the opportunity to work alone inside the Hagia Sophia (now a museum) as well as ancient mosques and churches in the city.
Kolehmainen's Hagia Sophia series celebrates the building in a unique way. Whereas his earlier works dealt with reflections on minimalistic surfaces of modernist and contemporary architecture, he now celebrates the volume and the light and colour on the surfaces of this sacred building and integrates profane items, such as scaffolding and lighting appliances, into his compositions. In the photographs, with their textured ornamentation reflecting historical layers and decorative interiors, Kolehmainen has captured the sublime essence of these historic buildings and the mysticism they radiate.
Dr Katja Blomberg (Director, Haus am Waldsee, Berlin) writes: The multiplication of perspectives within a single image allows him to compose complex, unsettlingly beautiful vistas as pictorial comments on icons of European architectural history.