Exposure: Yana Wernicke

In her latest Exposure column, Gem Fletcher profiles photographer Yana Wernicke, whose work explores the profound relationship between humans and animals

In Why Look at Animals?, the art critic John Berger describes how the ancient relationship ­between humans and nature has broken down, how the animals that used to be the centre of our existence are now marginalised and reduced to commodities. “The animal has secrets,” he explains. “Unlike the secrets of caves, mountains, seas, they are specifically addressed to man.”

This once precious bond is at the centre of photographer Yana Wernicke’s latest project. She began to seek out profound interspecies relationships between humans and animals outside of the domestic setting. “I was feeling pessimistic about the treatment of animals and wanted to imagine this kind of magical utopia, a world where animals and humans can co-exist as companions.”

All images © Yana Wernicke