“The skull is a symbol of life after death, transformation or change (the Death card in the Tarot), yet also is there to celebrate the memory of the dead (Dia de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico), and has powerful spiritual connotations (such as in Voodooism). Yet, my intrigue towards this subject matter was much more deep rooted than I anticipated. By borrowing the skull and its symbolic value as my canvas, it brought out a raw and instinctual creative process which you see here.”
The body of work presented in ‘Between Worlds’ is deceiving. The objects depicted venture beyond what is expected. They delve into the unconscious and wondrous worlds of mythology and art. The term ‘Between Worlds’ refers to the psychological and somewhat mystical realm in which the human relationship towards the animalistic and spiritual world is explored, drawing on Archetypal Psychologist, James Hillman’s quote:
“We, mankind, are in the middle, neither ape nor angel”.
Röhrig’s process began with his curiosity in a set of animal skulls that his wife brought home one day. Inherently drawn to them, he began photographing and exploring these:
“Once I captured these skull portraits they felt like ancient canvases to me. The white bone, its delicate texture, contouring along and over the round shape of the skull, intrigued me. The sense of instinctuality, life after death, transformation, and tradition circulated through my system, which animated me to use these photographs as canvases to explore these themes further.”
Working with multiple images, Röhrig extracted the forms and textures of various images and objects and then masterfully unified them into abstract composites, each with a unique and distinctive life-force and mysticism of its own.
Röhrig’s prints awaken a new relationship between the viewer and the preconceived notions of these objects. Something which is seemingly dead, yet also depicts the final essence of a being once alive; something quite divine.
His notion is influenced by the fragility of the human / animal species, the lost connection to the spiritual and primal world, those forgotten mythologies, and the significance of ancient arts.
“It’s about pausing and wondering, trying to understand if this is real or not, feeling an uncertain discomfort with ones unconscious primitive darkness - yet bewildered and curious by the preservation of the seemingly real artefact.”