Although Dutch photographer Scarlett Hooft Graafland draws inspiration from the natural landscape's inherent "strangeness," there's nothing natural in her perfectly composed, carefully choreographed images.
The artist has travelled the world to make her work, visiting everywhere from the salt desert of Bolivia to Madagascar to the Canadian Arctic, the island of Madagascar and the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu. What unites her responses to these far-flung places is the bright blues that boldly spring forth, and the placing of out-of-place elements into otherwise seemingly untouched environs.
In one image, for instance, we see a carpet with a geometric print echoing the cracked, vast desert floor beneath it; in another, a trio of women wearing burkas walk along a deserted beach, each with a long white balloon tucked under their arms. Somehow, it manages to veer away from comedy through its surreal and rather beautiful presentation.
“What pushes me to explore remote places is my nostalgia for regions that are still completely natural. Places that are untouched, where humans have hardly intervened," says Hooft Graafland. "I’m fascinated by how people manage to endure and survive in spite of circumstances that are often rough and rigorous.”
Hooft Graafland has a show coming up entitled Discovery at London's Flowers Gallery, 21 Cork Street, W1S 3lZ.