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 I used to. The forest yet again seems strange and unfamiliar, but not for the same reasons. Something new and foreign has crept into our forest and disturbed its balance. At night my maternal fears play out as in a dystopian fairy tale; a strange and confusing tale, in a world that no longer feels safe. I worry.
This project in many ways reflects the fears and uncertainty I have as a mother for the future of my children and the world we are leaving them. It 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 histories grimmest moments. They help us deal with our fears and make sense of the world. They may also function as cautionary stories, moral guides, or tales of warning. Now, more than ever, it seems to me we need new tales to lead us through our troubling times.
Images from the series can be seen in this feature: http://www.fractionmagazine.com/ingvild-melby
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