Why do certain fantasy landscapes appeal to us and others don’t? Often, it’s easy to conclude that they remind us of a distant past; a time and place were everything was ok. By the same token, Shae DeTar’s hand-painted photographs are soothing because they evoke a wishful fantasy that’s somehow connected to what we know. Colour and composition are so elegantly chosen, a deep-rooted serenity overcomes us; one that we have forgotten in our busy, everyday lives. Through merging photography’s truth claim with painting’s ability to be imaginative, DeTar helps us relate to our subconscious.
The message seems as straightforward as it is troublesome. Like a hypnotising apparition, the images remind us of our true, caring selves. As human beings, we need to go back to primitive ways of life and fully immerse ourselves in nature. It’s the only way we’ll relearn the respect for our environment’s true might and beauty.
While DeTar was a model and eventually a fashion photographer, she experimented with her own creative work on the side. Yet it was only relatively recently, after praise for her early work, that she exposed her incredible talent for painting photographs. It’s a technique that was common place in the days before Photoshop. Not only to give an image an artistic touch, but to enhance a black-and-white photograph’s realism.