With a soft guiding hand, photographer Olga Bennett’s book Environments takes readers in, around, and beyond the studios of 12 creatives whose objects - be it sentimental knickknacks from largely forgotten places or a group of mismatched postcards on the wall - tell of the relationship between a space and it's occupants.
“While focusing on the details of the space and behind the scenes moments, I was hoping to capture the person who works in the space, but without necessarily pointing my camera at them directly,” says Olga. Roaming in fields of design, art and fashion mostly from Melbourne, the book features artist Amber Wallis, sustainable fashion designer Ellie Mucke, illustrator and graphic designer Luci Everett, artist Justin Lee Williams, graphic designer Marc Martin, artist and jeweler Penny-Elizabeth Niel, graphic designer Suzy Tuxen from A Friend Of Mine, artists Miso and Ghostpatrol, sustainable stylist Kim Kneipp, knitwear designer Elizabeth Rayman Yong and ceramic artist Belinda Kennedy.
Documenting their private work spaces, Olga informs us that these spaces do not only reflect the aesthetics of their output but also the process involved in the pursuit of the craft: the discipline, the inspiration and the raw materials, all of whose remnants remain scattered around the studio like stubborn shadows. With artist commentaries running alongside Olga’s photographs, the setting is explained as the artists are explained by the setting.
Through Olga’s careful capturing of artists in their natural element with partly-obscured faces and close attention to detail, she creates an impermeable yet nose-length distance that gives her photographs intimacy, depth and candour, without the vulnerability of one under complete surveillance.
A single edition of only 150 copies (all numbered and signed), Olga Bennett’s Environments is available from her website only olgabennettphotography.com.