ASTRID SCHULZ PHOTOGRAPHY
NOW RUNNING: The award winning series ‘Car Park’ is currently exhibited from 26.11 – 20.12.2009
Astrid Schulz, who is specializing in documentary, travel and street photography, had a very special experience on New Year’s Eve 2006. A sudden change of weather turned her journey upside down, but also lead to the now featured mesmerizing images in her ‘Car Park’ series.
Her images should remind us of the unpredictability of life. There is an underlining message about the threat of recent climate changes and how little we know about protecting ourselves. Many people are not fully conscious about the meaning of the environmental problems, but in some countries drastic changes have already altered people's lives often in tragic ways. The images in ‘Car Park’ are a silent reminder to think about the way we take our comfortable lives for granted, but nothing lasts forever…
Astrid was born in Germany but is based in London, UK, for 15 years. She works
internationally on photographic assignments predominantly within the editorial and book-publishing sector as well as for charity and Non-Government-Organizations.
Exhibition Venue: Viewfinder Photography Gallery
Linear House, Peyton Place,
Greenwich, London SE10 8RS
Opening party: Friday, 27.11.09, 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Opening times: Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm,
Saturday & Sunday 12pm - 4pm
The Story behind ‘Car Park’:
Have you ever wondered - when sitting in a plane and looking out of the window - what it would be like inside a cloud, where everything is white and had no definition? Last December I found out – one would see absolutely nothing and it is far from being romantic.
A couple of friends and I set out to spend our New Year in the Krkonoše Mountains (about 1200m above see level), in the north of the Czech Republic. We left Berlin in a car and it was already snowing all the way through Poland before we reached our destination. Totally unprepared, as we were spoilt city people without snow chains around our wheels, we got stuck whilst trying to drive the car up the mountain. It seemed that civilisation, as we knew it, failed to exist in these conditions. We had to get out of the car in the attempt to push it up to the car park. We - that is three women with the wrong shoes and insufficient clothing, as all our winter-gear was in the suitcase. Despite our sweat and tears, the car would not move. It was dark by now, Spindlerův Bouda was already in sight, but there was also a bus coming up behind us. Panic! Luckily, the driver managed to stop, the bus gave us his headlights and a bunch of young strong lads got out. They pushed the car into position; there is a god.
We had to wait for enough visibility in order to walk away from our guesthouse down to the car park, where we arrived at the beginning of the snowstorm 2 days earlier. As I live in a big city where it does not snow that often, I could have looked at it as a relaxing experience. But reality was yet to come. All the cars were hiding under snow; where was ours?
More people arrived, totally astonished. Many others already worked hard, trying to recover their beloved vehicles. Some managed to organise tools; we just had our hands. It took 4 hours to dig out the car, as there was snow everywhere, even under the chassis. We thought we were done until we opened the bonnet. The snow was so fine; it found its way through every gap and covered the motor like icing sugar. Again, the car would not move.
As for the clouds, which were coming and going, I had enough of my dream of experiencing them. I did not expect to get numbed by so much nothingness. Everything just disappeared – everything was out of order – everything was just so silent. At least, in a plane you still hear the engine roaring and you are somehow protected inside its body… and most importantly, you are moving.
© Astrid Schulz Photography