Hildegard Ochse

Filicudi - Seascapes and Rocks

Hildegard Ochse

Auteur photographer Hildegard Ochse (1935–1997) allowed herself ample time for long hikes along the rocky coast of the Italian island Filicudi; her outings resulted in numerous black-and-white pictures.

The images are very still; some look as though they were glazed in a thin layer of black paint, others as though drawn with a fine graphite pencil. Timeless and melancholic, hard on the rocks’ edges and soft in their fine gradations of grey, her motifs ranged from coastal and rocky landscapes to urban landscapes.

Ochse’s photographic prints are majestic, plain, and dignified; their imagery is reminiscent of sacral forms. Romantic, a bit dark, ambiguous, and realistic, they invite the viewer to reflect. Their atmosphere is better understood when one calls to mind that the topos of the moment at sea and aboard a ship was a common expression of loneliness and longing already in the Romantic era.

Hildegard Ochse left behind an extensive, contemplative work in black and white on silver gelatin paper.