Ellen Korth is a multimedia photographer and artist.
Covid has meant many artists have altered their personal practice. With travel restricted Korth’s beautiful hand made book is of the photographs she took over several weeks on her daily walks, she aimed to take an image per day. She made seven folios each containing seven prints on very thin 14gm Awagami double layered paper, the bottom layer is removed giving the print an ethereal diaphanous quality. She additionally scrunched the paper then ironed the creases out. Reviewing the book Stockdale (2021) comments “these pages are too delicate to handle quickly. One is forced to proceed in a measure manner to visually walk with Korth on her meditative journey”.
Fabric of Time.
This is unbelievably gorgeous work, photographs of items of underclothing kept at Twickel Castle, Netherlands. They evoked memories of Korth’s own mother caring for similar garments, mending and ironing. The garments were photographed on a light box highlighting the flaws which have become markers of time. Old garments connect us with a past era, yet what do we really know about the people who wore them? . “Metaphorically clothing is a facade, meant to hide what resides underneath, while the undergarments create both exterior form as well as concealing the person’s full identity” (Stockwell, 2019).
Printed on 14gm Awagami double layered paper with the bottom layer removed they are delicate, just like the clothing itself. An exhibition at Twickel included the book, photo prints with gossamer thin life-size prints suspended above. + See images here.
The Rustle of Touch.
Due to the unique design of the Fabric of Time book not all of the photographs taken by Korth were published. This is a much simpler book but still perfectly conceived, each also contains two hand-made prints.
Charkow consists of seven intricate large booklets each about a particular individual or couple. The design reminds me of Russian matryoshka dolls, each piece getting gradually smaller. As you look through the book the photographs decrease in size.
During WW2 Korth’s mother Nadya escaped from the Ukraine settling in Holland. Destroying her belongings and keeping her origins secret she was an enigma to her daughter. “Torn photographs in a suitcase were clues but not answers” (Knoblauch, 2016). The book dedicated to Nadya contains only a handful of photographs without dates whilst the center is left purposely empty.
References / Bibliography.
Knoblauch, L. (02/12/16) ‘Ellen Korth, Charkow’ In: Collector Daily Available at: https://collectordaily.com/ellen-korth-charkow/ (Accessed 02/03/20).
Korth, E. Available at:https://www.ellenkorth.com/home (Accessed 02/03/21).
Stockdale, D. (05/02/21) ‘Ellen Korth – // Walks // ‘ In: PhotoBook Journal [online blog] Available at: https://photobookjournal.com/2021/02/05/ellen-korth-walks/(Accessed 02/03/21).
Stockdale, D. (09/06/19) ‘Ellen North – Fabric of Time’ In: PhotoBook Journal [online blog] Available at: https://photobookjournal.com/2021/02/05/ellen-korth-walks/ (Accessed 02/03/21).