Photography has an impulse for preservation, of cloistering the fleeting and saving it for future recollection. Artist Juliet Schrekinger references this act of protection in her ink-and-graphite works that evoke the grainy qualities of black-and-white film through a distinctly surreal vision.
Throughout her childhood, Schrekinger witnessed her mother taking countless photos of family events and happenings that were then displayed. “I continually saw the greatest moments I shared with my loved ones framed in our home, colorless time capsules that I would turn to for years to come,” the artist says. “I began to feel a deep desire to recreate these sorts of time capsules in my work but wanted to incorporate scenes that did not occur in this world.”
Mimicking the lighting and tonal contrasts of her mother’s images, Schrekinger’s renderings fuse the anatomically accurate with the otherworldly. While many of her scenes are unearthly—a pangolin wraps its long, scaly tail around the torso of a fox, sea birds perch upon a squid’s sinuous arms, and a band of hares appears to float through the sky—the animals are depicted in exacting detail, and the likeness of their fur, feathers, and tentacles is the result of extensive research.