Aperture is pleased to release a new limited-edition photograph by Dutch artist Charlotte Dumas from her series Stay.


In November 2014, photographer Charlotte Dumas began a project portraying the eight native horse breeds of Japan. Some exist in such low numbers that their future is uncertain. Many are confined to small islands, so have never been able to migrate. Each image says something about the breed’s geographical origin and the people who share its territory.


The series is, says the artist, a "natural evolution from several preceding series dealing with working horses: polices horses in Rome, racehorses in Paris and Palermo, and the horses of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia and the wild horse of Nevada." Through meeting a British horse Logger who was on his way to Japan to teach a course in horse logging, Dumas was able to connect with a preservationist at the Afan Woodland Trust in Nagano , where the Kiso horse is native. After extensive research of the eight native breeds , the idea of photographing them in their natural environments took form.


Dumas says of her work, "The notion that the state of humanity can be read and studied by the way we relate to animals is a vital thread in my work. My choice of subject relates directly to the way we use, co-exist with, and define specific animals, assigning various symbolisms to them as well as our own personal reflections.'


Informed by what she calls the “traditional ingredients” of 17th-century Dutch painting, Dumas approaches her work exquisitely attuned to composition, light, and the poses of classical portraiture. By shooting these animals at a range that allows intimacy without invasiveness, Dumas effectively humanizes them, their faces and bodies express an uncanny psychological depth, which seems both innate and ascribed.


Charlotte Dumas (Born in Vlaardingen, Netherlands, 1977) attended the Rietveld Academie of Amsterdam from 1996-2000 and later studied as a resident at the Rijksacademy for visual Arts in Amsterdam from 2001-2002. Dumas photographs animals using her 80 mm lens with medium format film to reveal the complex relationship between her animal subjects and her human viewers. Her work has been exhibited widely and is the subject of several publications, including her most recent monograph, Work Horse (Ice Plant Press, 2015). She is currently based in both The Netherlands and New York.

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