Nicole Ahland

29. December 2022 to 14. January 2023
28. December 2016 to 16. January 2017
04. September 2016 to 03. October 2016

After being represented in the exhibition Empty Rooms - Von der Schönheit der Leere (Empty Rooms - The Beauty of Emptiness) with three photo series in spring 2016, the Wiesbaden-based photo artist Nicole Ahland went in search of motifs as Artist in Residence in the same year - in late summer as well as in winter. Nicole Ahland's artistic work consists of capturing spaces. Using analogue photography, she has been building up an archive of interiors for two decades.  She has worked with historical, sacral, political and museological spaces, castles, manor houses, restaurants, hospitals, libraries, warehouses, attics and cellars.


And on Föhr, too, the artist has found inspiration in buildings that are empty or undergoing transformation. "Rooms are a mirror of our society," she says. The constantly changing light at the North Sea coast has made a lasting impression on her.


Artist at work © Dirk Uebele, 2023


During her first stay on the island, Nicole Ahland learned that the production of an analogue film material she needed for her work would be discontinued in the future. Her reaction: she built a camera obscura, also called a pinhole camera. The most simple materials she found in the artist-in-residence flat in Alkersum served as the foundation.


This self-made camera needs a lot of light, which is why Nicole Ahland did not use it indoors as usual, but experimented with space, sea and light. The artist also emphasises: "On the island, the outdoors dominates. The nature is overwhelming."


Artist at work © Dirk Uebele, 2023


Supported by mobile phone cameras, millions of perfect images of sky and sea would emerge every day worldwide. When working with the archaic and effect-free camera obscura, however, failure is also part of the process. This makes the rare selection of successful results - all of them unique - more valuable and exciting. Eight results of this series can be discovered in the online collection of the Museum Kunst der Westküste.


Over the turn of the year 2022/23, Nicole Ahland again spent time on Föhr. "I discovered a surprisingly different sky than six years ago" - through the same camera obscura. "This mild winter light on Föhr is simply phenomenal!"