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Michaela Barnert

Cheltenham Girls High School




In my body of work I have manipulated aerial photography of oceanic environments, taking the vast seascape and condensing it into a contained, reimagined space. My intent is to represent the impact of human activity, forever reducing our natural world. The topographical angle emphasises the surreal nature of the world, as well as its feminine characteristics. Conversely, the photographs also work to display the process of regeneration and growth, and how the ocean is a vessel for environmental rebirth.

Marker's Commentary

Topographic Morphism, through digital manipulation, shifts the contextual meaning of the aerial photograph from the representation of reality to one that can be wrought to create abstract forms. This manipulation actively disrupts the conventional assumption of photography as a depiction of reality, as it has been fused together to make seemingly natural different topographies that on closer inspection are completely artificial. The images operate on two planes of pure abstraction which highlight photography’s ability to construct viewpoints by manipulating digital images in post-production. The context of the photographic image is contested on two points, one being its perception through capturing unique viewpoints and second, the manipulation of these to generate completely fictional aerial landscapes.