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Parroquet - Show Studio
Born out of a lifelong fascination with science photography and nature documentaries, Parroquet showcases a body of work by fashion photographer Sølve Sundsbø, comprising eight film shorts and a selection of photographs. Keen to produce imagery that didn’t fall into the traditional genres of photography, this project’s central focus is the parroquet, a type of small, slender, long-tailed parrot. This particular subject matter couldn’t be more removed from Sundsbø’s lavish editorial spreads and striking campaign imagery, although his reasons for choosing this particular species do, in a way, relate to fashion. Possessing almost sartorial qualities, it was the bird’s trademark vibrant plumage that piqued the photographer’s interest. Sundsbø looks to this as fashion on an evolutionary scale: compared to the fast-paced, demanding nature of the fashion calendar and the many ‘looks’ each season produces, this creature’s stunning ‘outfit’ has taken centuries to develop.

Conventional fashion photography allows the image-maker to draw on a wealth of outside creative resources -be it a hair-stylist, make-up artist, or fashion stylist - to enable them to realise their intentions. In Parroquet, the subject matter encouraged Sundsbø to take a somewhat different approach, focusing on one specific element: the movement of the bird in flight. It was always Sundsbø’s chief intention to document the parroquet using photography and film; both mediums enabling him to steal moments that would normally be missed. Shot in a controlled studio environment using high-speed cameras, the slow-motion shorts show the bird mid-flight. The distinct physical characteristics of the parroquet –its strong curved bill, and its clawed feet– are all visible, but it is the bird’s feathers that are the central focus. Sundsbø also gives special consideration to the bird’s slender silhouette, by cleverly incorporating shots of its shadow. The photographs present ‘frozen moments’ of the bird’s journey; rather than showing its full body, the cropped viewpoints bring abstract qualities to Sundsbø’s powerful images.

Parroquet exhibited August–September 2008 in Gun Gallery, Stockholm and Colette, Paris.

Film by Sølve Sundsbø
Assistants: Robert Bellamy and Karina Twiss
Cameraman: Mark Johnson at Slowmo
Post Production: The Mill
Bird Handler: Trevor Smith at Animals Work
Thanks to Paul Hetherington and Harry Hanrahan

Editorial Direction: Laura Bradley
Art Direction: Paul Bruty
Front-end Development: Francisco Salvado
Comments (0) | Topic Posted 17/10/08
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