For her latest series, titled Close Below the Heavens, the German photographer travelled to Mongolia – a country that resonates with the legends and myths of ancient times. In the remote steppes of the Atlay Mountains, far from any tourist infrastructure, she encountered indigenous nomads whose way of life is still steeped in tradition. Even the majestic landscape emanates a sense of the primal and archaic. Nature is harsh and demanding: a wilderness that can be inhospitable, unpredictable and full of mystery.
Heinrich has a penchant for immersing herself in unfamiliar worlds. She seeks to understand different mentalities, conventions, structures and characteristics from the inside out. Her portrayal of the people she encounters is neither distanced nor evaluating; instead, she treads carefully in order to create a very direct connection with her subjects. Intuitively and without drawing comparisons between the new and the familiar, she willingly steps out of her comfort zone. Her images are a visual manifestation of that experience.
Dorothea Heinrich’s artistic background is in painting and drawing. She has been taking photographs for more than twenty years. Having initially worked with black-and-white film, analogue photography continues to be close to her heart – in fact, the artist only embraced digital photography in 2012.
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