At first glance you might mistake the puzzle-like, optical quality of Hannah Whitaker’s photographs for the work of Photoshop, but her experimental images are surprisingly physical. A far cry from a nostalgic experiment with film, Hannah plays with ideas about the technical and the handmade as much as she confuses the conventions of photography and abstract art. Throughout her work, grids and mosaics of dots and triangles appear across wintery landscapes and still-lifes.
Shooting through hand-cut paper she places inside the camera, Hannah pokes holes in the film holder or uses light leaks and multiple exposures to create geometric patterns over her subjects. These surprisingly simple methods produce layered, fragmented photographs that reference Bauhaus textiles like those of Anni Albers and remind us an image can still be a very material thing. There are always telltale signs of her in-camera techniques, as in Blue Paper (Albers) where the corner of a blank piece of paper folds back over itself and breaks with the pattern superimposed over it.
Last year the Washington native was one of 21 photographers selected for Foam Talent – one of the industry’s leading international contests and platforms for young photographers – and exhibited at Amsterdam’s Unseen Photo Fair. Since then she has released a book of her distinctive compositions with Mörel Books, Peer to Peer and is currently part of a group exhibition at London’s Flowers Gallery 20 May – 27 June.