Art as a Therapeutic Process through the Eyes of Photographer David Gaberle

20 February 2021

Art as a Therapeutic Process through the Eyes of Photographer David Gaberle

David Gaberle studied anthropology at UCL in London before travelling around the world with a camera for several months to capture life in the largest capital cities. Upon his return, David published a book of photographs called Metropolight, exploring the connections between human experiences and urban architecture. Using his photography as illustration, David describes how the environment affects us and points out the therapeutic effects of art: “Every day we are to a great extent surrounded by homogeneous areas with sharp, unfriendly edges. Art can nicely balance out this visual experience for us.”

David Gaberle talked to the EDUART START programme participants about the influence of art on the human psyche. Lenka Štěpánková chatted to David about his work.

How would you describe your style?

My pictures are partly based on where I find myself at that moment. I used to look for big neighborhoods with skyscrapers and light reflections, however I became overwhelmed and began to look for more vivid places that have more textures and are more human. For example, from Armenia I took much more organic pictures than from Tokyo. I also used to think that my perception was the most important thing in my pictures. Fortunately, I don't think so anymore, so maybe my photos are a little less ´shouty, fussy, clamorous, ostentatious´.

Light plays a big role in your work. Can you describe your specific perception of light?

At the beginning of my photographic experiments, I had no idea what it meant when a photographer was looking for a good light. For a long time, I darkened and lightened the images on the camera to understand what the light does to my emotions. Slowly, the light began to show in softer nuances. I also stopped looking for such strong colors. Now I often ask myself, what am I really looking at when everything around me is just reflected light?

What are the strongest sources of inspiration for you in relation to the perception of art?

I was very influenced by the study of anthropology. Lately, I'm learning to look a little more inside myself. I examine to what extent my perception is really authentic. Sometimes I'm ashamed about what I discover. I would like to learn to be my own source.

What does photography mean to you?

Photography helps me perceive more and think less. For me, art in general is a tool to explore myself, which I have been aware of for a long time now as a very therapeutic process. The goal is to get to the point where I don't have to deal with myself and have more time to help others with their creative process.

Hong Kong captured by David Gaberle.