The present is woven with multiple pasts

As a child I lived in big cities abroad, however, we would spend our summers at home in Norway. Our cabin lay nestled between the black water of a fjord and the forest, far removed from the big city I was used to. Coming home was a strange experience. The place I knew so well felt both frightening, enticing, familiar, yet strange. The feeling that something lurked behind the trees or under the surface of the ocean made me uneasy. I would lie awake listening to the quiet and startle with every unexpected sound. Drifting in and out of sleep, hypnagogic images would play tricks on my mind. Dreams and reality seemed to blend until I was unsure what was what. The silence giving my imagination the food it needed to transform the forest into a place where reality and dreams converged. 

I’m a mother now and my kids play in the same forest. Latent memories are awoken on our trips to the forest and a forgotten childhood landscape emerges; one that was buried under an adult rationale. The tales that were handed down from my grandparents to me years ago are recollected and passed on to my children. In this way, the forestscape as a bearer of collective memories emerges.

This project is inspired by childhood memories from summers spent with my grandparents and the stories that were handed down to me as a child. Folktales and myths emerge in times of upheaval and from history’s grimmest moments. They help us deal with our fears and make sense of the world. They may also function as cautionary stories or tales of warning. 

More images from the series can be seen in this feature:

“I arrived here in the womb of a cloud. Out of the white of the room I was isolated, there still seems to be a membrane between me and the world. “

I wrote these words the summer I was recovering from being seriously ill. After I was released from hospital our family traveled to a small island to regain our balance after the ordeal. Still troubled by after-effects such as headaches, fatigue, and memory loss, this project was a way of mapping my thoughts, fears, and uncertainty about the future. A feeling that seemed to me to be echoed by the island’s landscape; a landscape in transition changing with the tides and storms. View some of the images here:

(Image series of 14)

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