PhotographySolo artistStudio

Fabian Oefner | Oil Spill

posted by Alice Harrison November 26, 2016

Intricately infusing invisible effects of the properties of time and natural sciences as the genesis of his photography, cinematography and kinetic installations, Fabian Oefner encourages, through the harnessing of scientific properties within his creations, the acceptance that art and science work harmoniously to inform each other in tangible ways. The undeniable beauty of Oefner’s photography is exemplified consistently through the mesmerising theme of motion, as he seeks to explore the boundaries of time and space, while for his series entitled Oil Spill, iridescence acts as the dominant inspiration.




As with all of Oefner’s explorations, the intention remains the same; creating art that defies description, provoking wonder regarding the myriad of magical moments we do not see. Initially inspired to create Oil Spill when sitting outside on a rainy day and observing a thin film of petrol on a water puddle, Oefner decide to recreate the set up in a more controlled environment, resulting in the final ten photographs of the series after hundreds of images and many different set up attempts.




Regarding the process of Oil Spill, Oefner poured water into a black reservoir. With the aid of a syringe, he strategically added small drops of oil onto the water surface. Upon contact with the water, the oil began to expand into magnificent structures, some forming to look like stars exploding while others incredibly resemble an immersive image of the iris.




The impact of the colour variation is a direct result of the reflection and refraction of light as it passes through the oil film and back into the camera lens. Dependant on the thickness of the oil, the colours shift from blue to green to red, until they disappear again, resulting in a simple phenomenon, a fascinating and ingenious visual display of the importance of the relationship between science and art.




Hailing from Switzerland, Fabian Oefner has studied painting, photography, typography and art history at the Basel University of Art and a Bachelor of Art in Product Design at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Since education, Oefner has served as Lecia’s Director of Visual Style for Geosystems and now continues to explore and experiment with visualising time and the invisible effects of the natural sciences through his Studio Oefner, founded in 2013.



Alice Harrison

Alice Harrison

Author at People of Print
Alice Harrison

Latest posts by Alice Harrison (see all)

You may also like