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Saħħara’s Tethered The Timeless Appeal of Nude Art

by Nataša Pantović

Saħħara’s Tethered is a debut photography exhibition presented in Splendid Gallery located in Strait Street in Valletta. Sahhara’s selection of twenty images showcase the merge of a landscape aesthetic and human form. Highly precise and aesthetically engaging, Sahhara’s work is both classic and timeless.

The Timeless Appeal of Nude Art

The naked body has, since ancient times, fascinated artists of all backgrounds. Prehistoric representations of the naked human body can be found on the painted walls of caves, Egyptians, Greeks, Roman have all be fascinated by this form. During the Age of Enlightenment, nude representations were everywhere, presented as being of artistic interest. Since the invention of photography in 1839, the naked body has inspired photographers, but it wasn’t until mid 20th century, with the advent of surrealism, that artists, felt free to exchange their ideas, new techniques and new perceptions of nude photography.

Moving from the traditional where the nude body images have been made by men for a male audience, towards showcasing the “ideal” female body, Sahhara, a Maltese female artist had photographed female nudes as though she wishes to suspend any judgments about whether the audience finds the models sexually attractive or not, or whether the photographed bodies are socially ‘acceptable’. The artist experimented with the composition, taking in the human form kindly, with a sense of wonder.

A 2020 photograph during the worst of the bushfires in Australia, called “Mother I” is my favourite and it depicts seven female nudes, climbing a tree, created with a great degree of detail, combining the natural environment with bodies, almost blending them into a unified whole. This attention to detail is Sahhara’s signature aesthetic, all through the exhibition Tethered.

The landscape is incorporated in a great many of her photographs of the nudes.

Saħħara’s Tethered Exhibition

Nudes shot “Into the Woods”

Sahhara’s use of contrast is especially important, for example, in “Bleed” the subject’s legs are covered with both tattoos and branches, this merging effect is emphasised with female nudes covering their eyes praying and crying.

Shot with meticulous shading, “Held” nude models appear more as sculptures than actual bodies, Sahhara manipulates her prints both before and after development so at times we are fully surprised with the results.

Mindful Being Course Nataša Pantović Quote

"Somewhere within our brain we have a potential for higher mathematics, complex physics, art, and amazing richness of thoughts, feeling, and sensations."

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