The land of Hawaii is vast, luxurious, and idyllic but past the wanderlust images the land is very controversial. The growing population and tourism continues to threaten the space and its ability to accommodate all the occupants. The industrial growth happening in Hawaii goes beyond simply manipulating the landscape; it destroys the historical records and spiritual places that have existed there for generations. These photographs focus on the spaces where these infrastructures impede on the natural environment. Using silver gelatin prints which consist of selected of man made spaces, then using a laser cutter to cut the structure from the landscape leaves scar upon the image. The removed spaces aid in seeing what Hawaii would be like without these impositions. Although removed, there is still a scar suggesting the structures still exist and can never be completely erased. However, it draws attention to what is becoming the built environment in Hawaii. These invasive infrastructures have impinged on the natural environment. Although these images discuss visually the reality of Hawaii, it brings to light that this is not a localized problem. We should strive to question the social and political concerns that exist in the natural world and in its preservation.

PRINT INFORMATION: Gelatin Silver Prints with Laser Cuts | 9.5” x 9.5” image on 11” x 14” sheet | Edition: 2+1AP (each unique)


Leah Schretenthaler’s art practice uses traditional techniques with modern technology. Her photography practice uses traditional film and darkroom developing and printing and then combines a laser etcher to create new images. Her sculptural work uses a laser etcher and CNC router technology to assist in molds when it comes to casting in aluminum, bronze, and iron. She keeps these traditional processes relevant through developing technologies.


Leah Schretenthaler was born and raised in Hawaii. She completed her BFA degree from the University of South Dakota and holds a Masters degree in art education from Boston University. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her work uses traditional photography, video, and metal casting to create images. Through her art practice, her research presents a connection between land, material, and performance. She was recently named one of LensCulture’s Emerging Talents of 2018 and was awarded 2nd place in the Sony World Photography Awards. Her work has been displayed nationally and internationally including Hawaii, Colorado, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, California, Texas, New York, Wisconsin, Rome, and Spain.

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