Zephyr Series is the title of a new series of still lifes by Danielle Kwaaitaal. For years the Dutch artist/photographer has been working steadily on a now extensive photographic oeuvre in which she thematizes water.
Zephyr is an ancient Greek name for the west wind, which is also called a favorable wind. A seemingly casual collection of bottles of glass define the image, they are not anonymous forms; these bottles were made especially for the content. We see old glass from the so-called soil finds, sometimes with a date of 17th and 18th century, Haarlem oil bottles, Gimbon bottles, medicine bottles and an old hip flask. Unmistakable are the vintage perfume bottles, which have been stripped of their meaning without the contents. The observant viewer will recognize the iconic bottles from Chanel, Lagerfeld and Guerlain.
The traces of the past, the irregularities, the weathered, crumbling and iridescent glass create special reflections and unexpected distortions. They have become ‘group portraits’, within which each individual bottle is partly shaped by the specific characteristics of the others.
Looking at these underwater still lifes is a sensory experience. Focusing your eyes and looking a second time does not change the image; rather, it reinforces the natural acceptance that glass underwater looks like this. It is the keen eye of Danielle Kwaaitaal who, with her refined choices and colors, has breathed new life into these old bottles.
Work by Danielle Kwaaitaal is represented by Francis Boeske Projects in Amsterdam.