Artist statement – Post Vitam
”I already knew he was dead because there was a bird on the front porch this morning.»
These were the words of my mother after being informed that her brother had passed away.
I was able to document the first dead bird I discovered for over 18 months. I photographed the same bird over and over again, at different times of day, in different light conditions and during different seasons of the year. Since the project was highly personal, I did not show the pictures publicly. To me, it was important to revisit a bird or animal repeatedly as time decayed its small body.
My aim with “Post Vitam” is to explore decay and the brutal beauty of life and death as represented through dead birds, animals and plants. In doing so, I hope to be able to convey the inevitability that they, like everything, eventually fade away.
I live in a small seaside town on the West Coast of Norway and as a consequence the power of the sea has fascinated me throughout my life.
One day I found a dead bird in my garden. When I touched it, it still felt warm in my hands. At the time I was battling depression so subconsciously that I was drawn to images of death. I placed the bird in my small garden pond and began to photograph it.The resulting images affected me profoundly; speaking to me of mythology, of death and serving as a reminder that many birds were important storytellers in Norwegian mythology.
Through photography, I find a connection between the passing of time and my own humanity and vulnerability that resonates within me. Water, which many of my photographs involve, can be viewed as a metaphor for the river of time that runs over the underworld, but also for the beauty, truth and finality of life.
Despite working in isolation, I am well known in my local area as a collector of dead things and people have begun to contact me when they find something dead that could be of interest to me. Since I mostly use natural light, I sit inside my house waiting and watching the light conditions over the pond. I can sit for hours at a time for the right mood and atmospheric texture.
POST VITAM: A Trilogy
Ales / Birds Anibablus / Animals Plantis / Plants