Here I look at the work of Elina Brotherus to discover how she photographs isolation within a landscape.
ASBÆK gallery describes Brotherus’ work as follows:
Many of her photos and works of video are self-portraits typically investigating the relationship between individual and space, both in relation to interiors as well as landscapes. Her motifs and themes are usually concerned with reflection for instance in the diptych-series Points of View on Landscape where she shows the role of the perspective in the way we perceive the world. Standing in the middle of a Nordic landscape, wearing orange trousers, a model (the artist herself) is photographed with her back against the camera and then laterally reversed facing the camera, photographed from the opposite direction. The same landscape and the same person, standing in exact same place, but seen from two points of view.
Brotherus’s own website features collections of her own work, with descriptions of her intentions for each series. Her landscape work often features herself as a model, often in the distance, sometimes naked and sometimes clothed. She describes this as a way of showing the interaction of the human form with the landscape. Literally, being in the landscape. Her landscapes are often sparse, featuring just a few lines, but with interesting colours and light.
Sherwin admires Brotherus’s work, saying ‘she captures more than looming mountains and barren stretches of open country. With its compression of time and impressionist light, her images seem to capture not merely the contours of a place but its atmosphere.’ Watching youtube videos or her working, one can see her sitting in the landscapes for the long exposure shots, releasing the shutter with a cable-release. Not a technique that would occur to me, but something to explore on my equipment with an ND filter and camera remote app.
Brotherus’ work and approach has challenged me to again rethink the possibilities for photographing landscapes.
Brotherus E. MARTIN ASBÆK GALLERY [online]. Available from: http://www.martinasbaek.com/Artists/Elina-Brotherus [accessed 16.4.15]
Brotherus E. Artist’s own website http://www.elinabrotherus.com [accessed 16.4.15]
Sherwin S (2010). Artist of the week 104: Elina Brotherus. The Guardian. 8 September [online]. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/sep/08/artist-week-elina-brotherus-photography [accessed 16.4.15]