Between 2008 and 2013 I shot a series of landscapes from the Arlberg mountains in Austria around the villages of Lech and Zurs. A book of the works,above the clouds will be published in September 2013 by Lecturis. A permanent display of the works is on show at the Aurelio Hotel,Lech.
All images are available as limited edition prints, signed , numbered and dated by Tim. Prices and sizes upon request
Above the Clouds documents Tims journey into the mountains above the villages of Lech and Zurs in Austria; his mountainscapes explore the fragile relationship between the natural world and those that venture within it.
Tim has a longstanding affinity with the mountains of Europe, having skiied with his family from a young age. “Perhaps my motivation was based on nostalgia,” he says. “I wanted to capture the sense of excitement and surrealness of seeing a place for the first time.” The Arlberg was unfamiliar to him when he arrived in 2008 but he was immediately struck by the grace and serenity of the scenery.
His pictures capture the wonder he felt travelling up the Rufikopf cable car for the first time, the clouds lifting to reveal a snow-covered panorama. “As a photographer one always hopes for that magic moment when an image literally falls into the lens – it kept happening in Lech,” he explains. “The joy of the Arlberg is that the scenery is gentle as well as being vast and monumental. I feel a huge sense of excitement whenever I am here.”
“I have tried to create a sense of the drama that you feel up in the mountains but also the quiet,” he says. His compositions are thus simple – suggestive rather than specific. He uses a square format camera to allow as much space into the composition as possible, conveying the silence of high altitude and that feeling of solitude and trepidation that is felt on a ski tour or climb. “I am a great believer that less visual information creates a more powerful impact,” says Hall.
Tims choice of subject matter combined with the chosen moment to shoot , the camera format and his use of a particular film stock results in pictures that blur the line between photograph and painting , giving an elusive, Turner-esque feel. As Hubert Schwarzler, former head of tourism for Lech commented, Tim Hall simply paints with his camera.
Many of the scenes included in the collection are immediately recognizable to those who are familiar with the Arlberg but others are more abstract. Grand Tour shows two people disappearing along an isolated track above the Monzabonsee, with the clouds descending. “I like the way that the figures are so exposed to nature , battling against the conditions, yet in charge of their own destiny.”
The mountainscapes in Above the Clouds will, Tim hopes, lead the viewer beyond the particular scene to a memory or space in their mind that reminds them of an experience of their own. “I like the idea that in their more abstract nature my pictures might take you to a more spiritual place.”