“Iceland - Sounds of Silence” : Photography of Victoria Knobloch

Victoria Knobloch is a German photographer who concentrates on black and white portraiture, landscape, fine-art, and documentary work. She is always in search of tranquillity, beauty and the little worlds of the ordinary people as well as meditative landscape moods. Preferably she is working in Asian and African countries where life is not yet touched that much by the capitalistic purpose-driven structures. These images belong to her project “Iceland - Sounds of Silence”.

About me: I’m an artist living in Leipzig/Germany.

Victoria Knobloch photography (2)I work as a freelance photographer and I do invest a lot of time in personal projects. I give topic related photo lectures and next to photography I work as a classical singer.

My artist statement, etc: With my photography I want to welcome the viewer into the exploration of our complex existence with more awareness and therefore a spirit of importance, astonishment and appreciation. With my simple and direct approach, my character portraits, street photography and documentaries I’d like to show the uniqueness of everyday experience and the natural beauty of life.

Victoria Knobloch photography (3)My main concentration is on black and white portrait art and documentary work.

For me black and white photography is the queen of photography. The black and white presentation simplifies the pictures and there is no distraction by color. It focuses literally on the “painting” with light and on structures, lines, design, contrast, etc… Also through the extraction of color one moves away from ones usual way of seeing and art has the capacity to stimulate seeing things new or different and not to be just a poor imitation of reality. Whereby indeed such a thing does not really exist, because any form of reproduction is a kind of interpretation…

Victoria Knobloch photography (4)Further I want to use photography as an important tool to sustain and rekindle vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and spiritual customs. Worldwide we are losing traditional cultures with their primordial, pre-modern ways of live and spiritual heritage very rapidly. With my work I hope to become a small part of help for preserving these traditions for future generations. I’m especially fascinated by Tibetan Buddhism and interested in its preservation.

Victoria Knobloch photography (5)I love India and its spiritual heritage where the most important inspirations of my life come from. Also a huge inspiration for me is my dear friend and wonderful photographer Jagdev Singh based in New Delhi. With him I have conducted many projects and we have had many successful exhibitions together. You can have a look at our joint website Monochrome-Photoart.

Victoria Knobloch photography (6)Next to this I’m always in search of tranquillity, beauty and the little worlds of the ordinary people as well as meditative landscape moods. Preferably I’m working in Asian and African countries where life is not yet touched that much by the capitalistic purpose-driven structures. My passion for humankind also drives me to shoot a lot of street photography, capturing life as it is and celebrating the variety and manifolds of human life.

Victoria Knobloch photography (7)I just recently could afford to buy a new Canon 6 D and I’m utmost happy with it. Of course, the lenses play an important role as well. Still when it comes to equipment I’d like to share one of my favorite quote concerning this:

The cook to the photographer “I like your photographs, you definitely must have a good camera!”
Photographer (after eating): “The food was excellent - you definitely must have good pots!”
Helmut Newton (1908 – 2004)

Victoria Knobloch photography (8)My photo projects: Well I have many projects but one most close to my heart is “Tibetans in Exile” which I have been conducting for the last three years and it will be continued. This is a photographic investigation of the life, culture, circumstances, traditions, and the new homes, settlements, and monasteries of the Tibetans in exile. Up until now, I have travelled to Kathmandu, in Nepal; to Ladakh, Dehradun; and to Bir and Dharamsala, in Himachal Pradesh, India. Most of the Tibetan refugees live in India and Nepal, and among them are many Buddhist masters, who were urged to leave Tibet to save their lives and thus the precious teachings following the Chinese invasion in 1959.

Victoria Knobloch photography (9)For an impression of this body of work you can have a look here. Generally I’d like to capture and preserve the Tibetan Buddhist culture with my photography not only the exiled areas.

Next to this I’d like to express the essence and core of all spiritual heritage in different ways through my photography and my last and newest project within this scope is “Iceland – Sounds of Silence” and I’d like to share with you some of the photographs of the series.

Victoria Knobloch photography (10)About “Iceland – Sounds of Silence”: The beauty of Iceland can be found in its wide and immense areas of untouched and pristine nature. No description can convey the least idea of the serene beauty, the awe-inspiring wilderness and entrancing charm of the finest Icelandic scenes.

Everywhere natural mysteries are to be perceived and discovered: huge glaciers, powerful waterfalls, geysers, steaming fields, colorful mountains, snow covered peaks and immense lava fields add considerably to the splendour of the landscape. So the “cool beauty” knows how to surrender to the cosmic laws and also the people in Iceland are utterly aware of this and therefore relate to their environment with humbleness.

Victoria Knobloch photography (11)The country is bathed in great silence, silence which reveals the cosmic unity and when one deeply listens to it, it touches ones soul. The beauty which emerges out of this silence and purity is a deep and profound beauty out of itself, it stands there, it just is, majestically, totally independent, nothing can shake it. In the heart of this stillness, hence the divine, we can see more clearly who we are. Quiescence is the language of love, the music of inner peace, listen to it and it will reveal to you the beauty of truth which can only be found in Sounds of Silence.

Victoria Knobloch photography (12)I photographically explored the landscape of Iceland with a meditative approach. This is quite unique but it must be stated that Iceland is utterly predestined for this approach.

I like to show that meditation can be a source of inspiration and how it can enrich our perception and enhance creativity.

Victoria Knobloch photography (13)In meditation, we try to let go of the thinking activity and thus to emerge into intuitive perception of the infinite and all-encompassing unity of all being. Then our intuitive perception begins. This intuitive perception can be formed by stilling our intellectual thought processes of the incessant inner phrases and arguing and our perception transforms itself from multiplicity to unity, from the individual to the universal, from I to the Non- I.

Victoria Knobloch photography (14)I made these pictures with this quality of perception, out of the present moment, in awe and appreciation and free from distracting thoughts. And nothing can support this attempt better than the pure nature of Iceland itself.

So on the one hand photography can be a tool to discover these qualities within, but also a tool to show these to others in that the pictures convey a peaceful, harmonious and tranquil atmosphere.

Victoria Knobloch photography (15) Victoria Knobloch photography (16) Victoria Knobloch photography (17) Victoria Knobloch photography (18) Victoria Knobloch photography (19) Victoria Knobloch photography (20) Victoria Knobloch photography (21)All photos © Victoria Knobloch : Website

About Nishant Mishra

Nishant studied art history and literature at the university during 1990s. He works as a translator in New Delhi, India and likes to read about arts, photography, films, life-lessons and Zen.