Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A journey through the Great North (Part 1)

When I think of Scandinavia, I think of a cold winter and a snowy deserted landscape. At the far north end of Europe, between Europe and Russia, Finland in particular is this mysterious country with a language impossible to pronounce and dreamlike imagery.
I don’t know much about Finland or Scandinavia but through my photographic peregrinations I discovered talented but very different photographers that share a love for their unique homeland and offer their unique approach of a journey through the Great North. But more than a country Finland is a state of mind and through their photography artists from Finland not only depict the landscapes but also the solitude and the absurdity of their silent land.
Pentti Sammallahti
Pentti Sammallahti is considered as the father of contemporary photography in Finland. His work can be associated to the photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson or Joseph Koudelka. In a traditional black and white style he offers a poetic and playful vision of his country. From incredibly breath taking landscapes to decisive moment situations, Sammallahti photographs the great north with humor and sensitivity.
‘Sammallahti describes himself as a wanderer who likes the nature of the great north, the silence, the cold, and the sea.  He likes the people and the animals of far off places and he records the relationships of those people and their environment.  Like people, animals wander into his photographs and then disappear as naturally as they appear.’

Helsinki, Finland, 1973

Helsinki, Finland, 2002

Pyhajarvi, Finland, 1982

Solovki, White Sea, Russia, 1992

Solovki, White Sea, Russia, 1992
More on Pentti Sammallahti:
Ville Lenkkeri
Ville Lemkkeri was born in Finland and he describes with his images better then no one  the absurdity of life in the far North. With his series The Place of No Roads and Civil Courage he tells the story of isolated places and people, the stories of places where time is suspended, where life can be a daily fight. He makes us feel the beauty as well as the difficult reality of these places far away from our dreamlike imagery of magical snowy landscapes. 

Civil Courage: Lisa as a woman who carries her child to safety over fields, as her car and the roads have been buried knee-deep in snow that has fallen during the night.

Civil Courage: Sergey as a man who has moved to mine coal in the Arctic, in a place that has a history, but no future, since life where he grew up now had even less meaning.
  The Place of No Roads
Visions of an Arctic UtopiaA visitor to a small town in the utmost North that has lost its entire population is met by a surprising, subjective vision. […] In looking for something nonexistent, it is the searching and the dreaming that matter. This collection of photographs is a ballad to all ways of life, and is dedicated to dreams.'

Arctic Wildlife

First snow on an August night
 More on Ville Lenkkeri:
Nelli Palomaki
Nelli Palomaki is a young Finnish photographer specialized in black and white portraits. Dark, intense portraits where the subjects look at us as if they could see through our minds and we could see through theirs. Most of her work is focused at children while their posture and faces seem very adult like. She searches for the forgotten magic of portraiture, with decontextualized backgrounds and formal settings. Her images look like Dutch paintings from the Renaissance.

Julia #2, 2010

Viola and Elsa at 10 and 9, 2009

Sanni at 30, 2010

Viola at 11, 2009

Anni Maria at 24 with Donna, 2009
More on Nelli Palomaki:
and also on video:


No comments:

Post a Comment