During our very exciting showcase of the Terry O’Neill Award finalists here at The Strand Gallery, we want to take the time to really delve into the work of the exhibited photographers to give you wonderful viewers a deeper insight into the people behind the lens. Today we will be looking at the works of Alnis Stakle, whose series ‘Not Even Something’ was shortlisted for the award.
Stakle, born in 1975, lives and works in Latvia. Today we shall be taking a look at his exhibited project ‘Not Even Something’. During the Soviet era (until 1990) cities were usually divided into districts that would often differ not only with different names but also different functions. For example, there were residential, industrial, retail, entertainment districts. After the fall of Soviet Union many of these districts lost their function – factories were closed, fences were partly dismantled, bushes and plants reclaimed these territories. People started to use these new spaces as shortcuts to get to certain destinations in the city.
Although public transportation connects city districts, it became easier to pass through these territories on foot during the evening and the night. Thus new pathways and roads appeared even though they were not included in any official map of the city. In turn, some areas began to appear on new maps. They never represented the resident’s destination, but are intermediate sections between the important parts of the city.
“Not Even Something” explores these “ghost areas” at night – the most dangerous time to be in these indeterminate, less-populated areas. Pedestrian beaten tracks as often as not defined the aesthetical basic principles of the structure of work. Although the tracks themselves governed the focus of the photographs, the aesthetic results proved to be atmospheric and beautiful.
All images © Alnis Stakle
Further images from this series and many others can be seen on Stakle’s personal website here.
Catch these shots in real-life and come to see the Terry O’Neill Awards at The Strand Gallery until 26th January.