Catherine Hyland explores Austria

  • Jacob Zinzan
  • Harry Rose
  • Ameena Rojee
  • Hannah Abel-Hirsch

Photographer Catherine Hyland travelled across Austria to create a body of work responding to the people and places she encountered. She began her trip in the Bregenzerwald and ended in the city of Linz in Upper Austria. Commissioned by Studio 1854, with the support of the Austrian National Tourist Office, the resulting series explores the dynamic of chaos versus control, between nature and humanity, which Hyland observed across the country.

The Bregenzerwald

"It is the tension between nature and humanity visible throughout the Bregenzerwald that captures Hyland's attention.
Whether it is a quaint church framed by snow-flecked trees or a road weaving its way up the mountain-side, she repeatedly stops to photograph scenes where nature and humanity intersect. For Hyland, these architectural details in the progressively wilder landscape symbolise humanity’s attempts to tame and transform it. 
'I never want to take pictures that are what people expect,' says Hyland. 'The whole point of a good picture is that it should be ambiguous in order to make people ask questions about it'."
View the series and read the full editorial on British Journal of Photography here.

Linz

"Arriving in Linz, Hyland is immediately drawn to the Danube River, its sparkling waters weave through the city centre and today, a Sunday, they are awash with people relaxing in the early evening sun.
'The people along these banks have all come from different places, to see them together, at leisure, is what immediately became of interest here,' she says. Separately, Hyland’s photographs exist as compelling portraits of a range of individuals; together, they stand as a reflection of Linz's social diversity. But, the people collected along the banks of the Danube River also represent something else. They are emblematic of the universal human desire to escape the monotony of everyday life. 'That is why I enjoy documenting tourism and leisure more generally,' explains Hyland, 'it is a unique time when people come together to relax, enjoy themselves and find a moment of release'.”
View the series and read the full editorial on British Journal of Photography here.

The 2018 Pavillion Commission

Hyland's commission was accompanied by an exhibition at Photo London 2018. The 2018 Pavillion Commission showcased the work of five contemporary Austrian photographers – Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek, Stefanie Moshammer, Hanna Putz, Klaus Pichler and Thomas Albdorf. The projects on show all responded to Austria differently. Together they offered an alternative representation of the country from the perspectives of a group of artists living and working there.
Read more about the Pavilion Commission on British Journal of Photography here.