Fairytale Animals

When I look at my photos, their continuation often already arises in my imagination: What else could I do with them? Since the seventies, I have been experimenting with collages and photomontages, with double exposures, solarizations, with broken negatives and Polaroids, with double printings, as they arise as waste from letterpress printing. I collect such waste, for me they are treasures.

So far, I have rarely shown my surreal images. And when I do, they tend to meet with rejection, perhaps because they seem creepy or threatening to the viewer. For me, they are nightmare images. I used to write down my nightmares. To this day, animals often appear in them - slippery water creatures, wild cats, snakes.

A rabbit, for example, is not usually an animal to fear. It is not a cuddly animal by nature, but when it senses danger, it runs away. In my double exposure, a different nature emerges: the hare as ruler, as grotesque, supernatural being with abilities that can scare you, emerged from the unconscious.

Walter Schels