Having worked for many years as a commercial photographer, Photo Editor and Art Director, Petra explains she was exhausted and needed to redesign her life and priorities she entered into a career of teaching. Last year she made the conscious decision to fulfil a long terms ambition to focus on experimental artistic photography and mixed media art.
Her love of being on the road, experiencing new places and people inspires Petra. The act of exploring allows her to “sense poetry and beauty and try to capture my individual perception of it with the camera,” she says.
Each collection takes between 4 to 8 weeks to curate. Using a combination of techniques, like moving the camera or double exposure, she creates a sense of the fluidity of the moment. The challenge is to create something that resembles a dance, graceful and elegant. For someone who is a very clear and methodical person in her daily life, Petra’s artistic work is about creating something that is the polar opposite. When photographing it’s about her seeing and feeling the moment and it is in these times that her subjects find her rather than her having to actively seek them out.
“In a narrow, almost meditative form of bonding, the camera and I build a unit for this moment. So I approach the reality and disassemble it with the camera into small parts. In this photographic reduction, I work without thinking, without planning, purely intuitive, trying to find an expression for my feelings and visions. Only later during the selection of individual motifs and their digital post processing do I focus on the theme of a certain series.”
In her current series Petra explores her distrust of classical realism. She describes her work as experimental artistic photography, where the images are digitally merged to create a surreal, emotive illusion, one that questions reality. She says; ” I try to experiment and even play with reality – a visualisation of reality where fleeting, non-permanent and periodical moments occur.”
“My images are not supposed to look nice, they are supposed to make you feel something.”
Her ability to push the boundaries of reality and make photography an exploration of art, where she purposefully works to dismantle the myth that photograph as a medium of capturing the truth. Her aim is to present to those her view her art, a space where “comfortable conventions must be put to the test and renegotiated.”
“The images remind of a dream you cannot quite remember, but have it remained in your memory.” – Petra Jaenicke
Petra sees her photography has being a medium for “finding a subjective response to the world.” Engaging and drawing the viewer in, her work is about the finding a poetic and aesthetic view to normal life, one that creates for the viewer an opportunity to form their own perception of that moment.