From scenic grave sites to snowy forests – Nordic group exhibition Snowflakes and Other Surprises – Poetic Storytelling in Nordic Photography delves into the poetic relationship between man and nature. Curated by Icelandic writer and curator Sigrún Alba Sigurðardóttir, the exhibition brings together Icelandic, Swedish, Danish and Finnish photographic artists who look at the world through poetic storytelling. Snowflakes, vegetation and human intervention in nature are at the core of the exhibition.
“I remember days with 50 cm of even snow that enchanted my childhood world and later got my teenage children to go out and play. Snow is beautiful – but as we know so well, we who live in the high north, it can also be ugly, cruel and violent. We know about avalanches that have taken human lives, we know of people who have been lost in snowstorms, cars that have been driven into the ditch, sheep that have frozen and been snowed over in crevasses in the landscape.”
The concept of poetic storytelling is something Sigurðardóttir developed in connection with her research on the effect of photography. The concept describes a certain lyrical way of using photography as a narrative tool and an attempt to understand ourselves and our surroundings reaching for the environment’s vibration, resonance. Artists in the exhibition share the interest in various natural phenomena and objects, such as trees, mountains, plants, birds and snowflakes, which make us find new ways of being in the world and natured, relating to them and interacting with them.
“To be a creator of and a participant in a poetic story about the world we must experience the world in a poetic way. This requires us to be creative in our hesitation, to hesitate poetically in both time and space, to take the time to hear the world, listen, see and interpret, to create a story in resonance with the world around us. We can do that alone, and we can also get help from art and thus from photography.”
The exhibition features works by Elina Brotherus (FI), Katrín Elvarsdóttir (IS), Tinna Gunnarsdóttir (IS), Hallgerður Hallgrímsdóttir (IS), Mathias Svold & Ulrik Hasemann (DK), Einar Falur Ingólfsson (IS), Tiina Itkonen (FI), Astrid Kruse Jensen (DK), Sanna Kannisto (FI), Jacob Kirkegaard (DK), Helene Schmitz (SE), Trine Søndergaard & Nicolai Howalt (DK), Magnus Wennman (SE) and Hendrik Zeitler (SE). In addition, Sigurðardóttir’s essay on snow and the relationship between man and nature can be read in Finnish, English and Danish in the publication displayed in the exhibition.
On Saturday, March 4th 2023 at 1:00 p.m., curator Sigrún Alba Sigurðardóttir will share her thoughts on poetic storytelling and the artworks selected for the exhibition during the curator’s tour to the exhibition. The tour starts in front of the gallery at 1:00 p.m. After the tour, in Kulttuuritalo Valve’s café, Sigurðardóttir and the artists of the exhibition will talk more about their own artistic work. Admission to the event is free.
Snowflakes and Other Surprises – Poetic Storytelling in Nordic Photography
Elina Brotherus, Katrín Elvarsdóttir, Tinna Gunnarsdóttir, Hallgerður Hallgrímsdóttir, Mathias Svold & Ulrik Hasemann, Einar Falur Ingólfsson, Tiina Itkonen, Astrid Kruse Jensen, Sanna Kannisto, Jacob Kirkegaard, Helene Schmitz, Trine Søndergaard & Nicolai Howalt, Magnus Wennman and Hendrik Zeitler
Curator: Sigrún Alba Sigurðardóttir
Photo North – Northern Photographic Centre, gallery
(image: Sanna Kannisto, First Snow 1–2, 2017 (diptych))