goodbye hello goodbye

- is the title of my latest art project, and it indicates something we are leaving. At the same time I want this work to represent presence. We need to reflect upon this duality. I want to focus on time, values and sustainability in this work. I believe we need to rethink the way we act and live in modern societies. The effectiveness and mass consumption will destroy us in the end. The impact of the environmental degradation is now obvious — nature can no longer renew itself in this speed. How can we exist as humans in a world where everything moves and changes faster than our hands and bodies can move and our brains can think? This art project has been a long process and taken me several years to finish. In 2008 and 2011, I made working trips to the south-west of China to explore, and document by photos, what I will call the last bits of the old world . I visited villages and small societies were craft and farming are still based on handwork and very old skills. The people here still live close to nature and it’s spirits. They use and value everything they got. In this sense, they live what we could call a sustainable lif

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“time and value” (wool-photography, 235 x 140 cm)

The photo above is “developed” by hand-knotted wool. Each point in the photo has been analyzed to find the right color. It was three years of labor, and I spent my own time knotting it. By working in this extremely slow mode, I want to express that the effectiveness that runs through the whole modern and globalized world, has to slow down. We need to focus on what values and which qualities are worth living with. The image shows three women sitting closely together on the ground, in a pile of trash outside a pottery. They carefully collect pieces of fuel they find among trash and broken pieces of pottery, that can be used over again. They are what we would call; very poor people, but I see their job as very important. They live in a culture where everything that can be used, are a resource and therefor not thrown away. When it comes to sustainability, our culture has something to learn from them.

I also like to reflect on being a mother, taking care of my child these years, at the same time as working on this project. Working in such an extreme slow handcraft, needs patients. Being in maintenance for a child also needs patients. In this sense the wool photography can also be a picture, on the time and the value of taking care of someone.

I have always had a passion for the gobelines made in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. I am fascinated by their realistic storytelling, made long before photography where invented. These carpets were very expensive and highly valuable, because of the large amount of time it took to make them. The motives were often religious, or of other important historical issues for that time. In this context I see the motive I choose, and the time I spent developing the wool-photography, as very valuable and with an important content today.

details, wool-photography


 

“things of value” (c-prints)

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“terraces of the hani” (c-prints)

For about 1000 years ago, the Hani people began, communally and by hand, to make the rice terraces. They have been maintained and cultivated ever since. The water buffaloes still help the farmers with the heavy work in the terraces.

 

“the water buffalo”

The photo is printed on handmade mulberry paper. I bought the paper from the Dong people, who has made paper in the same way for more than 1000 years.

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“hands at work” (c-prints)

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In several of the photos the persons are sitting close to the ground. This is a common working position in these cultures. By exposing images like this, I want to focus on these people’s closeness to the ground and earth.

 
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sketch for a new wool-photography

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the girl is cleaning old plastic-bags, so they can be used over again