I’m unsure whether 33 thousand followers on Instagram can be considered ‘underrated’ but Ambera Wellmann’s art interrupts my scrolling often enough to warrant more of a rating in my eyes at least. Wellmann graduated with a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art. Today, her output is split between a website displaying a more ‘serious’ portfolio of gently painted ceramics, and an Instagram page of odd and slightly grotesque photographs. I am most drawn to the latter platform, and see this as her most gripping material.
Her photos challenge you to think twice about things you see and do every day, but never really examine. The strangeness of these things can be hard to communicate in words – a bend in an elbow, or the fibrous root of a capsicum – but her photos encapsulate them perfectly.
They give a feeling similar to a (sort of) horror film which you can’t look away from. There’s something unique about the stilling shock of finger nails seemingly embedded in the wrong side of the hand, or the skin being shaven off a kiwi fruit. But the images also have a satisfying sense of finality and balance. An egg placed in the centre of a halved watermelon simply belongs. The balance of shapes just works so well.
There is even a soft sexuality to some of her artworks resembling body parts. She finds objects that fit in unlikely places, often substituting parts of wholes, with unconventional textures that elicit a very physical response. But these photos are never as blatant, which makes a point in itself.
Apart from the obvious value of Instagram posts that aren’t taken from a rooftop in Santorini, I think these absurd and indelicate images should be rated highly for their thoughtful composition and provocative nature.
Words by Lucy Rossen
This article first appeared in print volume 88 edition 5 HOME
To view more of Ambera Wellmann’s work, visit her Instagram @ambera.wellmann.