The Great Silence

Helena Blomqvist

2016 - 2018

Stockholm, Sweden

In my new series of photographs, I have created a realm where events and

incidents intertwine into a story, where each photograph is like a scene in a film.

The story takes place in the near future and the works are joined by the theme of

resistance and defense, a wish upon the moon, and the legend of Joan of Arc.

The works are photographed in solitary and puissant landscapes, reminiscing of

Ansel Adam's early landscape photography. In one of the works a knight in full

armor is contemplating the scenery of a mountain lake in the moonlight. Black

swans approach on the lake, as if they are carrying an omen of something

extraordinary and sinister yet to come. All is calm and quiet, like in the eye of the

storm. The silence is tangibly present in these works and there are references to

classic silent movies, film noir, as well as cinematic sceneries from the wild west.

In another work, there is a clear reference to Ingmar Bergman’s film The Seventh

Seal. The photograph is taken at the beach where the Death comes to collect the

knight. As the knights arrive to the beach at twilight, the lingering atmosphere is

the same as in Bergman’s film. The moon is recurring as a light in the dark and as

a utopian place in space.

I have explored the image of the legend of Joan of Arc and how she has been

portrayed in film, theater, photographs, paintings and sculptures. The knights are

examining the role as The Maid of Orléans. The armor becomes a symbol and a

protection to reside in the world, but it is also heavy, crude and awkward. Roses

with their thorns ensnare around the knight’s armor and the red velvet is a

contrast to the cold silver plating.

The knights are united and ride next to each other in the deserted scenery - the

battle has not yet taken place, rather awaiting what is next to come. The title of the

exhibition, The Great Silence, sets the tone in all of the works. The photographs

tell a story of existentiality, about a search for something other, an ambience in

our present and an apprehension of our mortality.

My images are chimeric, dreamlike sceneries with a filmic storytelling.

I think a lot about the hues and light in my images to bring references to historical

paintings to mind.

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  • "A million Miles Away", 124x100 cm, 2019.

  • "Cloudy", 120x100 cm, 2019.

  • "Cygne Noir", 140x113 cm, 2019.

  • "The Great Silence", 100x168 cm, 2019.

  • "Beech Forest", 100x200 cm, 2019.

  • "In Honour of the Maid", 110x150 cm, 2019.

  • "Lago di Braies", 100x124 cm, 2019.

  • "Pale Mountains", 100x187 cm, 2019.

  • "St Joan of Arc", 100x190 cm, 2019.

  • "The Armour I", 2019.

  • "The Armour II", 2019.

  • "The Armour III", 2019.

  • "The Gathering", 2019.

  • "The Road", 2019.